Title

Apologizing for the past for a better future: Collective apologies in the United States, Australia, and Canada

Publication Date

2010

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article examines the rhetorical phenomenon of collective apology. Specifically, collective apologies issued by American President Bill Clinton, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were analyzed inductively to determine the purposes and strategies that make up these speeches. This inductive approach reveals that the purpose of collective apologies is to repair relationships damaged by historical wrongdoing. Moreover, it is found that rhetors use the rhetorical strategies of remembrance, mortification, and corrective action. Ultimately, this research lays the groundwork for collective apology to be considered a distinct rhetorical genre.

Original Citation

Edwards J.A. (2010). Apologizing for the past for a better future: Collective apologies in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Southern Communication Journal, 75(1), 57-75. https://doi.org/10.1080/10417940902802605