N. 10 (2024): The Discursive Construction of Contemporary Family Types
Articoli

The Discursive Construction of Intended Parents from Surrogacy: A Corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis of Italian and Canadian News Reports

Anna Mongibello
University of Naples L’Orientale
Biografia

Pubblicato 2024-06-27

Come citare

Mongibello, A. (2024). The Discursive Construction of Intended Parents from Surrogacy: A Corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis of Italian and Canadian News Reports. De Genere - Rivista Di Studi Letterari, Postcoloniali E Di Genere, (10), 33–58. Recuperato da https://www.degenere-journal.it/index.php/degenere/article/view/200

Abstract

The present study examines how surrogacy-related parenthood has been represented in news discourse in Canada and Italy. These two countries present contrasting approaches to surrogacy, with Canada allowing formal surrogacy arrangements while Italy maintains some of the strictest laws on assisted conception and surrogacy in Europe. The analysis is based on two corpora consisting of online news reports from Canadian and Italian sources spanning from 2016 to 2023, focusing on stories concerning surrogacy and alternative forms of parenthood, particularly emphasizing the representation of gay couples. Employing a methodological framework that combines Critical Discourse Analysis methods with a Corpus-based approach, the study aims to uncover the ideological underpinnings in the discursive portrayal of intended parents from surrogacy. Results show that the Canadian corpus (Can_SUR) features medical information and personal surrogacy accounts, with limited focus on intended parenthood narratives. Conversely, the Italian corpus (Ita_SUR) portrays surrogacy and alternative parenthood as political struggles within the legal framework, suggesting these issues are debated in Italian courts rather than treated as personal matters. Overall, in Canadian news discourse alternative parenthood is represented as legitimate, whereas in Italy surrogacy and same-sex couples’ rights are represented in opposition to discourses of biological kinship and nature, thus echoing an heteronormative framework.