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Discourses of social change in contemporary democracies: The ideological construction of an Ecuadorian women’s group based on “solidarity economy and finance”

in Text and Talk 32(3):329-348

Esperanza Morales-López, May 2012

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Summary :

This paper analyzes the discursive construction which a women’s movement (MMO) in Ecuador presents to the public as an alternative to the Government’s proposal on the issue of « solidarity economy and finance ». The MMO’s proposal and that of the Government are not exactly two conflicting voices, but they are somewhat divergent in the process of building the sumak kawsay ("good life"), the central idea of the new constitution. The analysis of the selected MMO’s speeches reveals that the pragmatic-argumentative resources connect their position with the country’s recent crisis. However, the Government proposal is presented discursively, decontextualizing the issue from the country’s socio-economic situation. Ethnographic methodology is used to collect the data, and to relate these data with the local and global context. As for the method of analysis, the pragmatic approach has provided useful tools at micro-analytical level. However, this level places limits at macro-analytical level, on the analysis of complex strategies and arguments; in this case, this research shows how discourse analysis needs to be complemented with studies of argumentation. Finally, the socio-cognitive notion of frame has been used at the interpretative level to explain the ideological meaning of the present data.