Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Vol 8, No 2 (2011)

The category ‘natural’ in the discourse of couples who used medically assisted procreation

Caroline Léchot, Michèle Grossen, Dominique Laufer, François Ansermet, Marc Germond
Issued Date: 23 Sep 2013

Abstract


As a constantly evolving set of complex biotechnologies, medically assisted procreation (MAP) challenges a category that seems to be taken for granted: that of ‘natural’. What is ‘natural’ or not when MAP is used to procreate? What are the boundaries between a ‘natural’ and a ‘non-natural’ fertilisation? Drawing upon a dialogical approach to language and cognition, our study examined the semantic field of the category ‘natural’ as expressed in interviews between a psychiatrist and seven couples who resorted to MAP and had to decide whether to keep their frozen pre-embryonic cells (zygotes) for further procreation or to allow them be destroyed. We examined how these couples evoked the category ‘natural’ and showed that in their argumentation, the category ‘natural’ encompassed a wide variety of phenomena, which shifted the boundaries between the ‘natural’ and ‘non-natural’. In so doing, the couples ‘renaturalised’ MAP, normalised it, moved the boundaries between what is legitimate or not, and showed their accountability. Hence, reference to the category ‘natural’ seemed to act both as an argumentative and a psychological resource in the elaboration of the person’s experience in resorting to MAP.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/japl.v8i2.187

References


Bakhtin, M. M. (1981) The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: University of Texas Press
Bauer, M. W., Matthias, K., Allansdottir, A. and Gutteling, J. (2001) The dramatisation of biotechnology in the elite mass press. In G. Gaskell and M. W. Bauer (eds) Biotechnology 1996-2000: The Years of Controversy, 35–52. London: Science Museum.
Bensaude-Vincent, B. and Newman, W. (eds) (2007) The Artificial and the Natural: An Evolving Polarity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Bergmann, J. R. (1992) Veiled morality: Notes on discretion in psychiatry. In P. Drew and J. Heritage (eds) Talk at Work, 137–161. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bergmann, J. R. (1998) Introduction: Morality in discourse. Research on Language and Social Interaction 31 (3/4): 279–294.
Billig, M. (1985) Prejudice, categorization and particularization: From a perceptual to a rhetorical approach. European Journal of Social Psychology 15: 79–103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420150107
Billig, M. (1996 [1987]) Arguing and Thinking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Billig, M. (1991) Ideologies and Opinions. London: Sage.
Billig, M. (1999) Freudian Repression: Conversation Creating the Unconscious. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bonfadelli, H., Dahinden, U. and Leonarz, M. (2001) Biotechnology in Switzerland: From street demonstrations to regulations. In G. Gaskell and M. W. Bauer (eds) Biotechnology 1996-1999: The Years of Controversy, 282–291. London: Science Museum.
Bredmar, M. and Linell, P. (1999) Reconfirming normality: The constitution of reassurance in talks between midwives and expectant mothers. In S. Sarangi and C. Roberts (eds) Talk, Work and Institutional Order, 237–270. Berlin: New York: Mouton and de Gruyter.
Cattoli, M., Borini, A. and Bonu, M. (2004) Fate of stored embryos: Our 10 years experience. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biolog 115: 16–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2004.01.008
Confédération suisse (LPMA 2001) Département fédéral de justice et police (1998) Loi fédérale du 18 décembre 1998 sur la procréation médicalement assistée (LPMA). Entrée en vigeur le 1er janvier 2001 [Swiss Confederation. Justice and Police Federal Department (1998) Federal law of 18th December 1998 on medically assisted procreation. Effective from 1st January 2001]. RS 810.11
Descola, P. (2005) Par-delà nature et culture [Beyond nature and culture]. Paris: Gallimard.
Edwards, D. (1991) Categories are for talking. On the cognitive and discursive bases of categorisation. Theory and Psychology 1 (4): 515–542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959354391014007
François, F. (1994) Morale et mise en mots [Morality and Wordings]. Paris: L’Harmattan.
Franklin, S., Lury, C. and Stacey, J. (2000) Spheres of life. In Global Nature, Global Culture, 19–44. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publications.
Gillespie, A. (2007) The social basis of self-reflection. In J. Valsiner and A. Rosa (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of socio-cultural psychology, 678–691. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grossen, M. (2010) Interaction analysis and psychology: A dialogical perspective. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science 44: 1–22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12124-009-9108-9
Grossen, M. and Apothéloz, D. (1998) Intelligence as a sensitive topic in clinical interviews prompted by learning difficulties. Pragmatics 8 (2): 239–254.
Grossen, M. and Salazar Orvig, A. (2011) Third parties’ voices in a therapeutic interview. Text and Talk 31 (1): 53–76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/text.2011.003
Hall, C., Slembrouck, S. and Sarangi, S. (2006) Categorisation and accountability in professional texts and talk. In Language Practices in Social Work: Categorisation and Accountability in Child Welfare, 15–34. London: Routledge.
Josephs, I. E. and Valsiner, J. (1998) How does autodialogue work? Miracles of meaning maintenance and circumvention strategies. Social Psychology Quarterly 61 (1): 68–83. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2787058
Latour, B. (1996) On interobjectivity. Mind, Culture and Activity 3 (4): 228–245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15327884mca0304_2
Laufer, D., Ansermet, F. and Germond, D. (2006) Représentation et devenir des zygotes cryoconservés. Représentation et signification pour leurs détenteurs, décision quant au devenir de ces zygotes, les implications de la LPMA. (Protocole pour la commission d’éthique de la recherche clinique, CHUV). [Representation and future of cryopreserved zygotes. Representation and signification for their owners, decision about these zygotes’ future, the implications of LPMA. (Protocol for the Ethic Commission of Clinic Research, CHUV)]. Lausanne: CPMA and FABER. Unpublished document.
Laufer, D., Emery, M., Léchot, C. and Germond, M. (2010, June) Couples’ representations of surplus frozen embryos: what influences decisions on embryo disposition options? Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Rome, Italy.
Linell, P. (2009) Rethinking Language, Mind, and World Dialogically. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
Linell, P. and Rommetveit, R. (1998) The many forms and facets of morality in dialogue: Epilogue for the special issue. Research on Language and Social Interaction 31 (3/4): 465–473.
Mäkitalo, A. and Säljö, R. (2002) Talk in institutional context and institutional context in talk: Categories as situated practices. Text 22 (1): 57–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/text.2002.005
Marková, I. (2003) Dialogicality and Social Representations: The Dynamics of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Marková, I., Linell, P., Grossen, M. and Salazar Orvig, A. (2007) Dialogue in Focus Groups: Exploring Socially Shared Knowledge. London: Equinox.
Moscovici, S. (2007 [1968]) Essai sur l’histoire humaine de la nature [Essay on the human history of nature]. Paris: Flammarion. http://dx.doi.org/10.1522/030032816
Moscovici, S. and Vignaux, G. (1994) Le concept de thêmata [The concept of thêmata]. In C. Guimelli (ed.) Structures et transformations des représentations sociales [Structures and transformations of social representations], 25–72. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Niestlé.
Potter, J. and Wetherell, M. (1987) Accounts in sequence. In J. Potter and M. Wetherell (eds) Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour, 74–94. London: Sage.
Rozin, P. (2005) The meaning of ‘natural’: process more important than content. Psychological Science 16 (8): 652–658. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01589.x
Rozin, P., Spranca, M., Krieger, Z., Neuhaus, R., Surillo, D., Swerdlin, A. and Wood, K. (2004) Natural preference: instrumental and ideological/moral motivations, and the contrast between foods and medecines. Appetite 43: 147–154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2004.03.005
Shotter, J. (1991) The rhetorical-responsive nature of mind: A social constructionist account. In A. Still and A. Costall (eds) Against Cognitivism, 55–79. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Silverman, D. (1997) The construction of ‘delicate’ objects in counselling. In Discourse of Counselling: HIV Counselling as Social Interaction, 64–88. New York: Sage.
Skoog Svanberg, A., Boivin, J. and Bergh, T. (2001) Factors influencing the decision to use or discard cryopreserved embryos. Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica 80 (9): 849–855. http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0412.2001.080009849.x
Strathern, M. (1992) Reproducing the Future: Anthropology, Kinship and the New Reproductive Technologies. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Strathern, M. (1995) Displacing knowledge: Technology and the consequences for kinship. In F. D. Ginsburg and R. Rapp (eds) Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction, 346–363. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/11193-000
Wagner, W., Kronberger, N., Allum, N., de Chevigné, S., Diego, C., Gaskell, G. and Stathopoulou, A. (2002) Pandora’s genes: Images of genes and nature. In M. W. Bauer and G. Gaskell (eds) Biotechnology: The Making of a Global Controversy, 244–278. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wagner, W., Kronberger, N., Gaskell, G., Allansdottir, A., Allum, N., de Chevigné, S., Dahinden, U., Diego, C., Montali, L., Mortensen, A. T., Pfenning, U., Rusanen, T., Seger, N. (2001) Nature in disorder: The troubled public of biotechnology. In G. Gaskell and M. W. Bauer (eds) Biotechnology 1996-2000: The Years of Controversy, 80–95. London: Science Museum.
Wagner, W., Kronberger, N. and Seifert, F. (2002) Collective symbolic coping with new technology: Knowledge, images and public discourse. British Journal of Social Psychology 41 (3): 323–343. http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/014466602760344241
Wertsch, J. V. (1991) Voices of the Mind: A Socio-cultural Approach to Mediated Action. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.







Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy