This page is an archive of the discussion about the proposed deletion of the article below. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made on the article's talk page rather than here so that this page is preserved as an historic record. The result of the debate was merge and redirect. ugen64 20:21, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A substub and dicdef that Refers to a phrase being used in the current UK general election. No potential to become encyclopaedic and it's difficult to think of anything more that can be said about it. Dbiv 10:39, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The article has changed substantially since I wrote this (I note it includes a brief description I wrote here but never intended to be in the article itself), but as said below it is now veering strongly in the direction of original research. It also has something of a POV problem, not in that it takes a somewhat cynical view of political discourse. I wonder if a home can be found for a slightly refactored version, for example in Rhetoric or some similar article? But I'm afraid I can't justify withdrawing the VFD. A political phrase is only worthy of a separate article if it has a particular resonance and identity with a policy (eg 'New Deal'), and this phrase is precisely aimed at not doing that. Dbiv 21:28, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC) See below. Dbiv 23:40, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Delete Agree with CM (reluctantly) - an article on the new meaning of 'dog whistle' :-( might be more likely to stay the course though.Linuxlad 14:33, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Delete - I agree that it lacks potential to go anywhere. Charles Matthews 11:14, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
For one thing, families are not employed, mostly, but individuals. I'm not uninterested in the rhetoric, but it's such a can of worms I don't think we can have a sensible page on it alone.Charles Matthews
Refactor: I created the article because I did not understand what the phrase meant (the semantic face-value is mysterious) but it seemed to be used very frequently by both Labour and Conservative politicians. At least it should be merged into the article code word (propaganda) or UK general election, 2005. – Kaihsu 11:56, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
Keep: Thanks for people being considerate. I think this would be a viable NPOV article to keep if we could find from Lexis-Nexis, the Hansard, etc. examples of use, first usage, etc. It is not a mere dictionary entry as the semantic value is not the pragmatic value. – Kaihsu 09:49, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)
Strong Keep This is an important codeword in current right wing politics (See Dbiv's comment below). This is the british equivalent of "Hardworking Americans" who deserve a tax cut. Personally I favor policies that would benefit chavs at the expense of Hardworking Families. Klonimus 06:31, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Question: does this mean anything different from "families which are hardworking"? Kappa 21:37, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, not in principle, no. But in the UK election it's being used as a code: the parties all want to lower taxes and provide services for "hardworking families", by which they mean to include everyone who might vote for them but exclude feckless benefit recipients (right-wing use) or those who have unearned income (left-wing use). Which is what I suspect Kaihsu was trying to say, but I think it has extremely limited value as a separate page. Dbiv 21:53, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I really appreciate the job Kaihsu done with the new version of the article. But what he did is a brilliant example of original research, to supporthis point of view that the expression in question is interpreted differently by different societies/parties/whatever. What is still lacking is secondary sources, i.e., respectful researchers (no disrespect to Kaishu) who described of this phenomenon in authoritative sources. Also, so far the article is a mostly about the usage of the term, i.e., more in the dicdef section. Clearly, its actual meaning "families that work hard" depends on what different people mean when they say "work hard". A buglar works hard. Sometimes.
So, who else besides kaishu and other wikipedians noticed and described the notoriety of the term? Mikkalai 15:18, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, original research is still one argument against this article, though I did little more than searching on existing databases and the web. I still think the article is useful and encyclopedic. If this article gets deleted in the end, I shall seek to publish my contribution elsewhere, perhaps with my existing dual-licensing. Cheers for your considered arguments. – Kaihsu 15:27, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)
I agree the article is useful. But the notability of a thing must be established prior to the publication in wikipedia, rather than in wikipedia. Also, when publishing elsewhere, please keep in mind that not all people have the same understanding which sources are authoritative to be counted here (just like with "workharding families" :-) Mikkalai 16:10, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it is a "concept", i.e., an abstract notion, and we are speaking about a particular article that describes this concept. The unanswered question is: besides the usage of the word, in what critical works it has been analyzed? Wikipedia cannot be the first one. Small town is a real concept, with very specific problems. There are tens of thousands other two-word phrases about "real concepts". Show me the book, please, and the article is a go. Mikkalai 15:19, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sam, thank you. I know how to use internet. The reference you gave is a usage of the term, not its scientific/encyclopedic discussion. Mikkalai 15:16, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No. That's simply yet one more use of the glittering generality. Nothing in that series of television programmes purports to describe the concept of "hardworking families". Instead they describe foster care, adoption, child support, and the like, and use the glittering generality to attempt to gain widespread appeal and to imply that this is positive action for the benefit of those who inarguably deserve it. This is why a redirect from the phrase to an article about such phrases in political discourse of which this is but one example is I think the best approach. It solves the problem of people in Kaihsu's shoes. Such people come to the encyclopaedia not knowing what a "hardworking family" is, and the encyclopaedia tells them that there is no definite meaning to the term, but instead shows them that politics has a long history of such deliberately vague terms (or, at least, a history that goes back at least as far as the 1940s, when the Institute for Propaganda Analysis analysed these things) to which politicians expect the audience to ascribe their own meanings. They may not have been instructed in the way that they expected to be, but they've been instructed. Uncle G 16:25, 2005 Apr 15 (UTC)
G, this is yet another, example of brilliant, but original research (and please don't poke me with this kaishu's indymedia contribution: there is no peer review at this site. Otherwise everyone could have been publish any bull in wikipedia by submitting at indymedia or elsewhere first). I still don't have the question answered: who and where (besides kaishu) critically discussed this term? Mikkalai 17:03, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The problem here is secondary sources. But it's a limited problem. We don't have a problem with the concept of glittering generalities; we have the Institute for Propaganda Analysis as at least one source for that. We don't have a problem with all of the quotations mentioning "hardworking families"; we (presuming the external hyperlinks to be correct) have full references for those. The core of the problem, the only part that remains, is whether anyone has considered the phrase "hardworking families" in terms of its propaganda value apart from us:
We certainly have plenty of evidence for its use, particularly in political strategy documents where politicians prescribe the propaganda that their party members should use.
We have uses of "hardworking", by itself, by people whose job was explicitly Minister of Propaganda.
We have sites such as this one that analyse statements containing such phrases as propaganda.
We also have sites such as this one that analyse Nazi propaganda and that use the word "hardworking" as an example ("Using the Preemptive Strike doctrine, the Nazi propaganda machine actually managed to convince ordinary Germans that the National Socialist government was invading other countries and laying waste to their cities in defense of Nazi Germany. It all read like a quaint little story: the racially inferior, parasitic, uncivilized, disheveled, excitable brute was out to kill pure, God fearing, hardworking Germans.")
And finally (I've just turned this up.), we have "Summary of Politics: The Art of Bamboozling" which says "Another red herring is argumentum ad populum, also know as stroking. This is when a politician will compliment the people, such as "hardworking ...". (This mid-term paper is flawed. I suspect deliberately so, as a copyright trap. The spelling errors are probably deliberate, and the mis-labelling of this as Argumentum ad populum is probably deliberate also. But that's beside the point here, which is that someone has addressed this word as a propaganda word.)
Without the last, I would have said that it was borderline and circumstantial. With the last, we have confirmation that "hardworking" has been discussed as a propaganda word by others, albeit that "hardworking families", specifically, may not have been. (It's a pity that "pay money to see the rest" cuts in at exactly the point that it does. ☺) So the question is: Is the adjective enough? Uncle G 13:30, 2005 Apr 16 (UTC)
Keep, interesting and encyclopædic. Grue 19:10, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I am going ahead with the merge. – Kaihsu 08:57, 2005 Apr 18 (UTC)
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