Brazilian “Natural” Family?: A Critical Analysis of Parliamentary Discourses

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Emmanuel H. Souza RODRIGUES, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil
In Brazil, the interference of religious practices in political spaces is common. The type of secularization in the country and the relationship between public and private allow this to happen. During the 54th Legislature of the Chamber of Deputies, from 2010 to 2014, it became clear with the advance of the called Bancada Evangélica, a religious group inside the parliament that during this period broke several guidelines related to sexual rights and LGBT citizenship (VITAL; LOPES DA CUNHA 2012 ). From its lobby, they even required setbacks in rights already conquered, as the rights to compose family. In this paper, I present parliamentary speeches about equal marriage made in plenary during the 54th Legislature by the deputy Ronaldo Fonseca. One of the leaders of the Evangelical bench, he was rapporteur of the Estatuto da Família, in order to promote the traditional family institution formed by father, mother and children as the only one acceptable according to Brazilian Law. The epistemology I used to analyze is the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) (FAIRCLOUGH, 2003), a linguistically oriented sociological analysis, anchored in a base of Systemic Functional Linguistics (HALLIDAY; MATTHIESSEN, 2014), with focus on Appraisal System (MARTIN; WHITE, 2005). Describing the situation with CDA, it was possible to make an explanation by sociological reading from the relationship between public and private existing in Brazil and its secularization. The results of this explanation, based on linguistics analyze, showed that the family representation guided by religious views and the determination of only one type of family make certain portion of the population as privileged with social rights and other family arrangements with no recognition. Thus, the interpretation with both linguistics and sociological way of these discourses suggests a proposal to limit democracy in the contemporary Brazilian political spaces.