Britney Spears’ Blog to Fans

In Apologetic rhetoric on May 31, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Britney Spears recently posted a letter on her site to fans. In it, Spears employs a number of apologiae strategies to explain recent stories about her behavior.

One of the most prominent strategies used by Spears in her defense is the strategy of “defeasibility,” which is used to evade responsibility. For example, early in her letter, Spears states “I was like a bad kid running around with ADD” followed by “after I got my divorce… I was so overwhelmed, I think that I was in a little shock too” and, finally, she confesses “I was so lost.” The rhetorical force of these statements implicitly suggests that Spears should not be judged too harshly nor held responsible for her actions. Instead, lack of control is actually to blame.

In addition to “defeasibility,” Spears also employs a “bolstering” strategy (for example, “I just want the same things in life that you want…and that is to be happy”) and an “attacking the accuser” strategy (such as “It’s so funny how many stories are put out there about people” and “I used to be angry at the tabloids for printing horrible things about me”). These comments attempt to reduce the offensiveness of Spears’ wrongful acts by identifying with the public while, at the same time, shifting the focus from her own actions to the possibly unethical actions of her accusers.

One has to wonder, however, why Spears chose to leave the provocative image adjacent to her defense.

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