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Revista signos

On-line version ISSN 0718-0934


DIAZ, José. Journalistic rhetoric and biopolitical controversies: The case of the news about the controversy of the ‘giant hamburgers’ (Spain, 2006). Rev. signos [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.75, pp.4-17. ISSN 0718-0934.

The aim of this paper is to analyze the rhetorical strategies of ‘naming’ or ‘reference’ and ‘predicational’ (Reisigl & Wodak, 2001) as linguistic markers of a writer’s ‘attitude’ (Billig, 1991, 1996). These strategies are used to describe the two main social actors in a sample of 29 pieces of news, published in Spanish newspapers, on the 2006 biopolitical controversy over ‘giant hamburgers’, which brought the Spanish Ministry of Health and Consumers’ Affairs up against the Burger King company, regarding whether state intervention in the regulation of eating habits is licit. The manner in which social actors are named is analyzed. The predicational strategies-with which journalists express a favorable or unfavorable attitude towards the social actors-are analyzed in terms of verbs of speech. The pieces of news generally reflect a neutral attitude, indicating that the newspapers, save some conservative ones, do not take a stand on a biopolitical debate about a Protector State-Liberal State.

Keywords : Rhetoric; discourse analysis; biopolitics; health; journalism; news.

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