Implicitness Functions in Family Argumentation
Bova, A. (2011). Implicitness Functions in Family Argumentation. In F.H. van Eemeren, B. Garssen, D. Godden & G. Mitchell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (pp.149-161). Amsterdam: Rozenberg / Sic Sat.
13 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2011
Argumentation is a mode of discourse in which the involved interlocutors are committed to reasonableness, i.e. they accept the challenge of reciprocally founding their positions on the basis of reasons (Rigotti & Greco Morasso 2009). Even though during everyday lives of families argumentation proves to be a very relevant mode of discourse (Arcidiacono & Bova, in press; Arcidiacono et al., 2009), traditionally other contexts have obtained more attention by argumentation theorists: in particular, law (Feteris, 1999, 2005), politics (Cigada, 2008; Zarefsky, 2009), media (Burger & Guylaine, 2005; Walton, 2007), health care (Rubinelli & Schulz, 2006, Schulz & Rubinelli, 2008), and mediation (Jacobs & Aakhus, 2002; Greco Morasso, in press).
This paper focuses on the less investigated phenomenon of argumentative discussions among family members. More specifically, I address the issue of the implicitness and its functions within argumentative discussions in the family context. Drawing on the Pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation (van Eemeren & Grootendorst, 1984, 2004), the paper describes how the implicitness is a specific argumentative strategy adopted by parents during dinner conversations at home with their children.
In the first part of the paper I will present a synthetic description of the basic properties of family dinner conversations, here considered a specific communicative activity type . Subsequently, the current landscape of studies on family argumentation and the pragma-dialectical model of critical discussion will be taken into account in order to provide the conceptual and methodological frame through which two case studies are examined.
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