The Discourse of Social Achievement
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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Starting from the assumption that Discourse Analysis can shed light on hidden instances of social demand through the analysis of discourse in different social contexts, the present paper focuses on healthcare, in particular on the social demands concerning health that emerge in forums where health problems are discussed. A corpus of texts produced in the context of non-specialized discussion groups has been analyzed, both from a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. Various discourse features have been examined — from strategies of self-presentation and other-addressing to the selection of specialized lexicon and terminologies, from levels of formality to the interplay of description and narrative. The analysis has revealed the presence of two different ‘scenographies’ (Maingueneau, 2007), that can be named ‘social’ and ‘private’, respectively. The former is characterized by the exchange of information, while the latter gives voice to the need for a different relationship between patients and doctors. In this perspective, it is suggested that the person as a whole should be the main concern of doctors, thus leading to a renewal of discourse in the medical sector.


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