Journal or Book Title
Discourse & Society
This research follows the tradition of Ethnography of Communication to discuss hitlahamut, an Israeli term for a distinctive type of public talk. After presenting the denotive meaning, I define the act and style hitlahamut encodes, using analysis of the type of talk it describes. The data are taken from phone-in interactions and online op-eds and news. Hitlahamut defines a self-centered emotive, exaggerated style of the confrontational and divisive message, and it encodes hostile relations between the participants. I then connect this term with other Israeli terms for talk and with terms for public talk elsewhere, suggesting that hitlahamut describes unreasonable criticism, enabling participants not to engage with the content of the criticism due to its (perceived) style. In addition, hitlahamut describes populist discourse (from both left and right) due to its combination of aggression and emotive style with divisive language and problematic argumentative content.
UMass Amherst Open Access Policy
Dori-Hacohen, Gonen, "'Hitlahamut': A term for unreasonable populist public talk in Israel" (2019). Discourse & Society. 96.