The political Tv interview, Tim Sebastian’s interview with an Arab: A venue for reconciliation or discord?

Omar Fayez Atari

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The political television interview provides researchers a chance to explore the dynamism of intercultural communication as it is a highly structured speech event with norms of interaction and interpretation governed by sociolinguistic and discourse rules. During formal interviews, the interviewer and interviewee presumably cooperate and coordinate the activity of interaction to get across a message to the viewers. However, the interaction in a political television interview sometimes turns into an antagonistic scene due to the interviewer's and interviewee's conflicting discourses and cultural communicative styles. This chapter analyzes the interaction in a television interview conducted by Tim Sebastian, a world-renowned figure in media circles while interviewing an Arab scholar from the Institute of Islamic Thought in the UK, Dr. Azzam Al-Tamimi. The interviewer's and interviewee's communicative styles are interpreted with reference to the high-context culture and low-context culture as advocated by specialists in intercultural communication studies.This is an attempt to interpret the political TV interview interaction as essentially a sociocultural issue not just a purely linguistic conversational activity. The analysis utilizes a range of concepts from speech act theory, conversational analysis, pragmatics and discourse, including implicatures and shared assumptions. The findings of this study indicate that the differing communicative styles of the interactants lead to divisiveness among the viewers. Hence, the interview is not a venue for a factually objective dissemination of knowledge to the masses of viewers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntercultural Communication with Arabs
    Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Educational, Professional and Societal Contexts
    PublisherSpringer Singapore
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9789812872548
    ISBN (Print)9789812872531
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


    • Antagonistic interview
    • Azzam Al-Tamimi
    • Communicative styles
    • High-context culture
    • Low-context culture
    • Moves
    • Responses
    • Tim Sebastian

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences
    • General Arts and Humanities


    Dive into the research topics of 'The political Tv interview, Tim Sebastian’s interview with an Arab: A venue for reconciliation or discord?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this