9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 POSTER SESSION Building AA, AA.329

Culture of argumentation and social imaginary: implications for citizenship in European Society

The topics of citizenship and promotion of critical skills are transversal in social and human sciences. Equally transversal are the topics of imaginary and social memory. The exercise of citizenship is tightly associated with argumentative practices and skills, i.e., with the know-how involved in the way people deal with discourses and through them interact argumentatively in different contexts. In fact, it is through argumentative interaction that people, on the one hand, manage conflicts within the community, while on the other hand, take hold of social imaginary and reconfigure the collective memory. Besides the argumentative interaction in different contexts, argumentative practices and skills deal, at a more specific level, with the rhetorical function of discourse; in other words, its typical argumentations which carry out persuasive purposes. In addition, this persuasive plan of discourse plays a fundamental role in the shaping of public opinion and in the configuration of collective identities and places.
Considering the hypothesis, according to which argumentative activity is crucial for individual citizenship, with rights and duties in the democratic State of Rights, and for the citizen participation in social issues, this paper aims to reflect on the relationship between the use of language and the exercise of citizenship in the context of a so-called culture of argumentation.
This proposal also intends to discuss the complex network of discursive domains, such as political, legal, scientific, mediatic and advertising. In addition, this proposal will reflect on the discursive genres, namely on debates, interviews, editorials, reports and features, political events, pamphlets, posters and ads.
Here is the summary of the ongoing project that we wish to submit to discussion. This project involves nine researchers of the Centro de Estudos Comunicação e Sociedade (CECS), of the University of Minho (Braga, Portugal).