Argumentation among family members in Italy and Switzerland: A cross-cultural perspective
Contributo in libro
The main goal of this study is to analyze to what extent family members engage to resolve differences of opinion during everyday interactions at home. Our aim is to point out the relevance of the context in the analytical reconstruction of argumentation carried out by parents and children at dinnertime. Trough the examination of everyday interactions, we analyze qualitatively how argumentation shapes the communicative practices of Italian and Swiss family members and how it can foster a critical attitude in their processes of decision-making. We integrate two theoretical and methodological approaches: the first one is the model of the critical discussion, derived from the pragma-dialectical perspective. It represents an ideal argumentative discussion against which real-life interaction can be analytically reconstructed and evaluated. The second one is the conversational and discursive approach that aims at identifying the sequential patterns of discourse produced by participants. The present study shows that within the setting of dinnertime conversations pragma-dialectical and conversational analyses are powerful tools to understand how argumentation fosters a critical attitude in the process of decision-making and of the building of consent. The results open a space of investigation about the management of family debates in different contexts, taking into account a double perspective on argumentation.