In recent decades, research on ‘political apology’, wherein the state apologizes to victims of its past wrongs, has multiplied, as redress movements based on human rights have proliferated around the world. Since most of this research has been conducted by political philosophers, however, analyses of political apologies tend to adopt formal and normative perspectives. To propose an alternative, empirically-grounded approach, in this paper, I develop the ‘cultural pragmatics’ of political apology. To this end, I first conceptualize political apology as a social performance aimed to ‘re-fuse’ an impaired relationship between the perpetrator state and the victim individual. This conceptual move enables systematic analysis of political apology in terms of six elements constitutive of social performance: collective representations, actors, audience, means of symbolic production, mise-en-scène, and power. To elaborate this model of the cultural pragmatics of political apology, I then examine the protracted dispute over wartime atrocities that Japan committed against South Korea.
cultural pragmatics, performance, Alexander, East Asia, Japan, Korea, comfort women, historical injustice, international relations, apology, political apology
Asian Studies | Politics and Social Change | Sociology | Sociology of Culture
SAITO, Hiro.(2016). The cultural pragmatics of political apology. Cultural Sociology, 10(4), 448-465.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2027
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