What is it about?

After the financial crisis of 2008, public anger was directed against banks. Despite failing and receiving public bailouts, banks were still paying massive bonuses to directors. It also came out that banks had falsified their accounts, taken part in money laundering, and generally failed to act in accordance with ethical standards. This paper looks at whether or not banks apologised for their wrongdoings and failures. It identifies five strategies that the banks used: normalisation, authorisation, rationalisation, moralisation and mythopoesis.

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Why is it important?

By critically examining the banks' discourses, we can learn more about how they manipulate public opinion.


This paper takes a stance on powerful entities that should act in the public interest, showing how their communications are distorted to protect their reputations and enable them to continue behaving in a non-transparent, unethical way.

Dr Ruth Breeze
Universidad de Navarra

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Understandable public anger, Pragmatics Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), July 2021, John Benjamins,
DOI: 10.1075/prag.20065.bre.
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