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Power, Persuasion and Manipulation in Specialised Genres

Providing Keys to the Rhetoric of Professional Communities


Edited By María Ángeles Orts Llopis, Ruth Breeze and Maurizio Gotti

This volume focuses on the study of linguistic manipulation, persuasion and power in the written texts of professional communication, to go further into the understanding of how they are constructed, interpreted, used and exploited in the achievement of specific goals. Such texts are here contemplated from the stance of genre theory, which starts from the premise that specialised communities have a high level of rhetorical sophistication, the keys to which are offered solely to their members. In particular, the book investigates the communicative devices that serve the need of such professions to exert power and manipulation, and to use persuasion. The perspective adopted in this work does not envisage power simply as a distant, alienated and alienating supremacy from above, but as an everyday, socialized and embodied phenomenon. To attain its goal, the volume brings forth studies on the language of several professions belonging to various specialised fields such as law and arbitration, engineering, economics, advertising, business, politics, medicine, social work, education and the media.

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Persuading against Gender Violence: An Interdiscursive Genre Analysis (Antoinette Mary Fage-Butler)


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Persuading against Gender Violence: An Interdiscursive Genre Analysis

1.   Introduction

According to Bhatia (1993), professional genres are often used to promote the strategic aims of the sender. Using campaign materials that tackle the problem of violence against women (VAW) as its object of analysis, this chapter explores how two genres advance health- promoting, ethical changes. VAW constitutes a significant global problem, affecting an estimated 35% of women worldwide (WHO 2013). It is recognised as an infringement of human rights (Heise/Pitanguy/Germain 1994; European Parliament 2012; Ellsberg et al. 2015; WHO 2015), and has many potentially serious and long-term consequences for women’s health and well-being (WHO 2012).

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