The research presented in this chapter is based on the analysis of the websites of ten surrogacy agencies offering assistance to surrogate parenthood and gamete donation, based in the US but operating also in other contries of the world where commercial surrogacy is legal. In most cases these websites are the only point of contact with potential clients, so they are a fundamental shopwindow for these agencies to present and promote their professional activities, deploying various discourse types: informative, scientific-popularising, legal, promotional. But, on account of the controversial character of the practice involved, which finds obstacles or bans in many legal systems and intense opposition from certain sectors of public opinion on bioethical grounds, there are reasons to believe that in presenting their professional offer, these websites need to argue – often implicitly – in favour of the lawfulness and ethical admissibility of the practice, refuting its detractors’ claims. This study focuses on this argumentative thread running through texts posted on these websites with a view to detecting and identifying the more or less implicit strategies aimed at persuading the interlocutor of the ultimate legality and ethical viability of the practices and services offered. The investigation, based on a corpus of texts posted on surrogacy agencies’ websites (about 100,000 words), first of all takes account of the by now ample literature on surrogacy, mainly produced in sociology and in gender studies (e.g. Ragoné 1994; Markens 2007; Teman 2010; Pande 2011). It is carried out in a discourse analytical/CDA perspective (e.g. van Dijk 1993, 1998; Fairclough 1995), also applying schemes developed in argomentation theory (van Eemeren/ Grootendorst 2004; van Rees 2009), and at the same time relying on principles that originated in traditional Aristotelian rhetoric. Within this context, orpus linguistics is used to find a quantitative confirmation for the findings of the critical analysis (Hardt-Mautner 1995; Garzone/Santulli 2012). In addition, multimodal discourse analysis is referred to in order to integrate the textual analysis with observations on the role of the visual component on some of these websites (Kress and van Leuween 2001, 2006; Garzone 2007). The main element emerging from the discourse-based and rhetorical analysis of the corpus is that in the choice of modes of persuasion there is a clear preference for the ethical appeal, i.e. for arguments that highlight the professional and moral authoritativeness of surrogacy organizations and professionals, while the pathetic component is left to visuals and to sections hosting previous clients’ testimonials and narratives, and the logical component is limited to the most technical sections, reporting on the legal and medical process and the procedures to be enacted.

Persuasive Strategies on Surrogacy Websites: A Discourse-Analytical and Rhetorical Study, 2017.

Persuasive Strategies on Surrogacy Websites: A Discourse-Analytical and Rhetorical Study

Giuliana Elena Garzone
2017

Abstract

The research presented in this chapter is based on the analysis of the websites of ten surrogacy agencies offering assistance to surrogate parenthood and gamete donation, based in the US but operating also in other contries of the world where commercial surrogacy is legal. In most cases these websites are the only point of contact with potential clients, so they are a fundamental shopwindow for these agencies to present and promote their professional activities, deploying various discourse types: informative, scientific-popularising, legal, promotional. But, on account of the controversial character of the practice involved, which finds obstacles or bans in many legal systems and intense opposition from certain sectors of public opinion on bioethical grounds, there are reasons to believe that in presenting their professional offer, these websites need to argue – often implicitly – in favour of the lawfulness and ethical admissibility of the practice, refuting its detractors’ claims. This study focuses on this argumentative thread running through texts posted on these websites with a view to detecting and identifying the more or less implicit strategies aimed at persuading the interlocutor of the ultimate legality and ethical viability of the practices and services offered. The investigation, based on a corpus of texts posted on surrogacy agencies’ websites (about 100,000 words), first of all takes account of the by now ample literature on surrogacy, mainly produced in sociology and in gender studies (e.g. Ragoné 1994; Markens 2007; Teman 2010; Pande 2011). It is carried out in a discourse analytical/CDA perspective (e.g. van Dijk 1993, 1998; Fairclough 1995), also applying schemes developed in argomentation theory (van Eemeren/ Grootendorst 2004; van Rees 2009), and at the same time relying on principles that originated in traditional Aristotelian rhetoric. Within this context, orpus linguistics is used to find a quantitative confirmation for the findings of the critical analysis (Hardt-Mautner 1995; Garzone/Santulli 2012). In addition, multimodal discourse analysis is referred to in order to integrate the textual analysis with observations on the role of the visual component on some of these websites (Kress and van Leuween 2001, 2006; Garzone 2007). The main element emerging from the discourse-based and rhetorical analysis of the corpus is that in the choice of modes of persuasion there is a clear preference for the ethical appeal, i.e. for arguments that highlight the professional and moral authoritativeness of surrogacy organizations and professionals, while the pathetic component is left to visuals and to sections hosting previous clients’ testimonials and narratives, and the logical component is limited to the most technical sections, reporting on the legal and medical process and the procedures to be enacted.
Inglese
Orts, María Ángeles; Breeze, Ruth; Gotti, Maurizio
Power, persuasion and manipulation in specialised genres: providing keys to the rhetoric of professional communities
227
101
130
30
9783034330107
Switzerland
Berna
Peter Lang
esperti anonimi
internazionale
A stampa
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10808/24180
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