Argumentative misalignments in the controversy surrounding fashion sustainability
In light of the ongoing public controversy surrounding fashion sustainability, this paper sets out to identify misalignments that relate to the definitions of sustainable fashion. It does so by examining the discourse of different agents in this polylogical argumentation - fashion companies and the European Parliament as well as citizens, small brands and NGOs - as revealed through documents and tweets published online. Our findings show misalignments in the opening stage of the argumentative discussion at the level of explicit and implicit definitions of sustainability as well as in how the agents responsible are discursively portrayed. We argue that the existence of these misalignments may explain the ongoing controversy surrounding sustainable fashion: the different actors do not share univocal starting points and representations of this phenomenon. Methodologically, this paper also advances research on argumentative polylogues, by demonstrating a method for comparing argumentation by different actors using different data sources.
Journal of Pragmatics
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argumentation, agentivity, sustainable fashion, sustainability, discourse