What Does “¡Quédate en casa!” (‘Stay at Home!') Mean for a Poor Woman?: Analysis of an Online Debate Conducted by an Ecuadorian Feminist Group

What Does “¡Quédate en casa!” (‘Stay at Home!') Mean for a Poor Woman?: Analysis of an Online Debate Conducted by an Ecuadorian Feminist Group

Esperanza Morales-López (University of A Coruña, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7987-9.ch013
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is the discursive analysis of the online debate carried out in April 2020, in the middle of the confinement period of the COVID-19 pandemic, by a feminist group from Ecuador. The topic was to discuss the impact on poor women in the country of the consequences of the government order to be confined to the home: “¡Quédate en casa!” (‘Stay at home!'). From a constructivist perspective, the most relevant discursive-argumentative resources of the debate are analyzed, with the aim of revealing the participants' “framework of interpretation” or “narrative construction” based on their reflection of what was supposed to be an order issued by all governments, at the behest of the WHO (World Health Organization), but whose concrete materialization could not be realized in a similar way in all social contexts.
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[Ethnography] has the potential and the capacity of challenging established views, not only of language but of symbolic capital in societies in general (Blommaert, & Jie, 2010, 10).

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Background

In previous articles, Morales-López (2017a, 2017b, in press) explains the constructivist theoretical and methodological approach utilized in the critical analysis of ideological discourses, something that also applies to this article (see also Pujante, 2017). This constructivist position defends as one of its main ideas that meaning is constructed through the interaction process with and is closely linked to context (van Dijk, 2005, 2008). This meaning is then completely dependent on these conditions. From this perspective, the ethnographic methodology is key in gathering data to detect the particular relevance of the selected discourses (Blommaert & Jie, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Frame: The term derives from Sociology and Anthropology but was popularized by Erving Goffman in Frame Analysis (1974) AU14: The in-text citation "Frame Analysis (1974)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. . It refers to a quotidian experience activated at the beginning of a communicative activity or a given social event. This frame can change throughout the activity and thus the initial frame can be deactivated and new frames will then be activated.

Formal Resources: The use of the different linguistic units recognized by the speakers as units with meaning in a given language. They come from the different grammatical and discursive levels: prosodic, lexical, morpho-syntactic, pragmatic and rhetoric-argumentative.

Critical discourse analysis: It refers to the theoretical and methodological perspective of discourse analysis in which the discourse creates not only semantic-pragmatic meaning, but also socio-cultural and/or socio-political meaning.

Participant Observation: It is the main methodology utilized in Ethnography and Linguistic Anthropology in which the researcher introduces him/herself, for a time, into the community to be studied as a member of the group with the intention of knowing more in depth the object of study.

Communicative Strategies: Using a military metaphor, in a communicative context these are the different arrangements of the linguistic-discursive resources with a communicative purpose.

Communicative Functions: The roles or tasks played by statements and language expressions in the communication process. This implies that, from this perspective, it is important to take into consideration speakers´ intentions in the communicative exchange as well as their objectives.

Constructivism: Theoretical perspective separated from realism, that defends the idea that reality is not outside ourselves, but it is construed through a dialectical relation among the external entities, our subjectivity and emotions, the interrelation without interlocutors, and the contextual conditions at the time.

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