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Methodological paths to apprehension mining discursive traces1 1 Paper originally presented at the Public Relations and Organizational Communication GP of the 42nd Brazilian Congress of Communication Sciences, with modifications.

Abstract

The present work intends to present part of the theoretical-methodological path adopted to analyze the discursive constellation around mining, an economic segment marked by contradictions and conflicts, especially after the rupture of two dams of iron ore tailings in Minas Gerais, which caused the death of almost three hundred people and serious social and environmental damage. The work is part of the research “Dispute of meanings in mining: discursive marks of civil surveillance organizations and instances” (PUC Minas/UFMG), which analyzes the discourse and counter discourse of the main actors involved in the mining segment, at the global and national/local levels. In this work we approach the construction of the theoretical-methodological framework developed to analyze the discursive practice of International Council on Mining and Metals - ICMM, one of the main international actors of mining, taking Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis as a reference (2001).

Keywords
Discursive Practice; Organizational communication; Mining; Methodology; Critical Discourse Analysis

Resumo

O presente trabalho pretende apresentar parte do percurso teórico-metodológico adotado para se analisar a constelação discursiva em torno da mineração, segmento econômico marcado por contradições e conflitos, sobretudo após o rompimento de duas barragens de rejeitos de minério de ferro em Minas Gerais (Brasil), que causou a morte de quase trezentas pessoas e sérios danos sociais e ambientais. O trabalho integra a pesquisa “Disputa de sentidos em torno da mineração: marcas discursivas das organizações e das instâncias de vigilância civil” (PUC Minas/UFMG), que analisa o discurso e o contradiscurso dos principais atores envolvidos no segmento da mineração, nos níveis global e nacional/local. Abordamos neste trabalho a construção do quadro teórico-metodológico desenvolvido para análise da prática discursiva do International Council on Mining & Metals – ICMM, um dos principais atores internacionais da mineração, tomando como referência a Análise Crítica do Discurso, de Norman Fairclough (2001).

Palavras-chave
Prática Discursiva; Comunicação Organizacional; Mineração; Metodologia; Análise Crítica do Discurso

Resumen

El presente trabajo pretende presentar parte del camino teorico-metodologico adoptado para analizar la constelación discursiva acerca de la minería, un segmento económico marcado por contradicciones y conflictos, especialmente después de la ruptura de dos presas de relaves de mineral de hierro en Minas Gerais, que causaron la muerte de casi trescientos personas y graves daños sociales y ambientales. El trabajo es parte de la investigación “Disputa de significados en minería: marcas discursivas de organizaciones e instancias de vigilancia civil” (PUC Minas/UFMG), que analiza el discurso y el contradiscurso de los principales actores involucrados en el segmento minero, a nivel global y nacional/local. En este trabajo nos acercamos de la construcción del marco teorico-metodologico desarrollado para analizar la practica discursiva de Internacional Council on Mining and Metals – ICMM, uno de los principales actores internacionales de minería, tomando como referencia el Análisis Critico del Discurso de Norman Fairclough (2001).

Palabras clabe
Práctica Discursiva; Comunicación organizacional; Minería; Metodología; Análisis Crítico del Discurso

Introduction

The state of Minas Gerais was the recent scene of two of the greatest socio-environmental tragedies in Brazil involving the disruption of mining dams. As a consequence, at this moment, it is noted that the contradictions and conflicts that accompany the mining activity become increasingly evident, as one of the great agendas of the common citizen daily life. The academic community, in turn, has tried to contribute, from the perspective of the most diverse domains of knowledge, to broaden the understanding of the sector, so that society can qualify its arguments in the arena of public debate – including, eventually, contradicting the imperative of economic development used in a recurring way to justify the practice of actors working in the sector.

It is in the context of such premises that researchers in the area of Social Communication have been involved with the theme, seeking to give voice and visibility to those affected by tragedies and to those who live under the domain of mourning, risk, tension, and fear. But how have scholars of organizational communication contributed (or can contribute) to the debate around the struggles (symbolic and material) that are fought around mining activity? How is it possible to operationalize research that overcomes the technical bias that traditionally marks the trajectory of the area and forms an investigative practice that privileges the network of relationships of which organizations are part (and of which both influences and influences)?

To formulate such questions, it is assumed that communication, also within organizations, is configured “as a circular process that is not determined by the issue, but in which the subject is central in both instances, recognizing as fundamental the order of intersubjectivity” (OLIVEIRA; PAULA, 2011OLIVEIRA, I. de L; PAULA, C. F. C. Comunicação no contexto das organizações; produtora ou ordenadora de sentidos? In: OLIVEIRA, I. de L.; SOARES, A. T. Interfaces e tendências da comunicação no contexto das organizações. São Caetano do Sul: Difusão Editora, 2011. p. 91-108., p. 102).

Thus, the present paper brings some instigations and shows theoretical-methodological ways that try to account for the issues raised in the scope of the research “Dispute of meanings around mining: discursive marks of organizations and instances of civil surveillance” (PUC Minas/UFMG). By identifying the discourse of the main actors that make up this sector, at the global and national/local levels, as well as the counter discourses of the social actors involved, the research tries to shed light on the discursive constellation that currently occurs around mining and organizations in this sector, in a game of public justification whose causes and consequences, materialized in texts, can serve both to the crystallization and the refutation of social practices and structures. After all, in the middle of discourse, it is possible to understand “social life as an interconnected network of social practices of various types (economic, political, cultural, among others), all with a semiotic2 2 Practices, in this perspective, are the ways of acting in society that can be arising from its structure and a certain social position, but also from a domain of social action and interaction that induces reproduction or transformation of structures (FAIRCLOUGH, 2005). element” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2005FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 308).

The main reference adopted is the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), anchored in the proposal of Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., in his three-dimensional conception of discourse. In this paper, we present the approach of discursive practice that involves one of the main international actors in the mining sector: The International Council on Mining & Metals -ICMM,3 3 A research being developed by the Research Group Dialorg, at PUC Minas, it should be emphasized, it is more comprehensive and investigates different actors in relation to the discursive constellation of the mining sector. In the case of this paper, it is taken as an object of analysis only one of those actors, the ICMM, which also positions itself as one of the main spokespersons in the sector. from the perspective of the research. In presenting the selection of the corpus and the first analytical exercises to apprehend the discursive traces on mining, it is expected to show the relevance in the development of studies of this nature not only for the area of organizational communication, but also as an effort that marks the understanding of communication as a basic social process around which we understand and conform as a society, in a permanent construction by and in the relationships we establish with each other.

Critical Discourse Analysis

Critical Discourse Analysis is considered by Fairclough (2005, p. 307)FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186. “more as a theory than a method”. It involves a theoretical perspective on language and semiosis, including the different languages and forms of sense-building, and provides “linguistic or semiotic analyses inserted in broader reflections on the social process” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2005FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186., p. 307). Thus, when establishing procedures and methods of research from the CDA, the language centrality in use in the processes of cultural and social conformation and transformation is recognized (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p.). The CDA has as one of its main foundations the work of Foucault, notably “The Archaeology of Knowledge” and “The Genealogy of Power”, with regard to the main topics:

1. constitutive nature of discourse – discourse constitutes the social, as well as social objects and subjects; 2. the primacy of interdiscursivity and intertextuality – any discursive practice is defined by its relations with others and uses others in a complex way; 3. the discursive nature of power – the practices and techniques of modern biopower (e.g. examination and confession) are significantly discursive; 4. the political nature of discourse – the struggle for power takes place both in the discourse and underlying it; 5. the discursive nature of social change – changing discursive practices are an important element in social change

(FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 81-82).

Discourse is both a way of acting in the world and on others as a mode of representation and meaning. The discourse is both modulated and modulates, is both restricted and can restrict the social structure, and can both reinforce certain practices (and structures) and transform them. Furthermore, it is the “integral and irreducible moment of social practices that involves semiosis/language in conjunction with the other moments of the practices: mental phenomenon, social relations, and material world” (RAMALHO; RESENDE, 2011RAMALHO, V.; RESENDE, V. de M. Análise de discurso (para a) crítica: O texto como material de pesquisa. Coleção: Linguagem e Sociedade, v. 1, Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores, 2011., p. 16).

To highlight the dimensions of discourse, Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p. proposes a threedimensional conception in which textual practice is contained in discursive practice and, this, in social practice, as represented below:4 4 The work recognizes and considers reflections subsequently made to the seminal proposition of the CDA here assumed, including discussions undertaken by the author himself (see CHOULIARAKI and FAIRCLOUGH, 1999; FAIRCLOUGH, 2009) or the work of Ramalho and Resende (2004). Likely, it takes the model adopted as one of the references in CDA, which needs to be considered in the context of other propositions that seek to articulate the dimension of the agency and structure, according to the broad spectrum of operationalization in the linguistic field (WOCK and MEYER, 2009). However, we understand that the methodological synthesis initially proposed, in its essence, remains preserved and, therefore, is thus considered in the paper presented.

Figure 1
Three-dimensional conception of discourse

In CDA, textual analysis considers aspects such as “interactional control”, “cohesion”, “politeness”, “ethos”, “grammar”, “transitivity”, “modality”, “meaning of words”, “creation of words” and “metaphors”. The analysis of discursive practice focuses on aspects related to the production processes represented by “manifest intertextuality” and “interdiscursivity”, circulation and reception of texts manifested by “intertextual chains” and the consumption of information represented by “coherence” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p.), as will be detailed in the following item.

And the dimension of social practice turns to analyses of the “orders of discourse”, understood as “social structuring of semiotic difference, a particular social ordering of the relations between the various ways of constructing meaning” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2005FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 310), and the “ideological and political effects” of discourse, aiming to understand how the construction and dispute of meanings and significations take place, which enable the maintenance and/or transformation of social reality. “In social practices, language manifests itself as discourse: as an irreducible part of the ways we act and interact, represent and identify ourselves, others and aspects of the world through language” (RAMALHO; RESENDE, 2011RAMALHO, V.; RESENDE, V. de M. Análise de discurso (para a) crítica: O texto como material de pesquisa. Coleção: Linguagem e Sociedade, v. 1, Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores, 2011., p. 15).

Thus, the central objective of our studies has been to build a methodological proposal for research in organizational communication inspired by the CDA, seeking to understand the complex dynamics of the formation and movement of audiences, as well as their interinfluences in the contexts of controversy and public debate. As Ramalho and Resende (2004, p. 201)RAMALHO, V.; RESENDE, V. de M. Análise de Discurso Crítica, do modelo tridimensional à articulação entre práticas: implicações teórico-metodológicas. Linguagem em (Dis)curso - LemD, Tubarão, v. 5, n.1, p. 185-207, jul./dez. 2004. discuss, one of the functions of the CDA is to try to uncover as negative and socially naturalized aspects, especially in the context of the neoliberal economy, “can be changed by the human agency (...) but they are, at least in part, the result of particular strategies engendered through political decisions according to certain interests.”

Critical discourse analysis is a methodological approach that privileges the constitutive role of discourse in contemporary society. Although its origin is in language studies (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p.), the articulation it proposes between discourse and other social practices, without reducing everything to discourse, has been a valuable contribution to critical studies of organizational communication that are concerned with examining the power relations between discourses and actors

(OLIVEIRA; HENRIQUES; LIMA, 2019OLIVEIRA, I. de L.; HENRIQUES, M. S.; LIMA, F. P. Um modelo analítico das práticas discursivas no contexto das organizações: proposta metodológica em construção. In: ENCONTRO ANUAL DA COMPÓS. Porto Alegre: COMPÓS, 2019. Anais.... Disponível em: http://www.compos.org.br/biblioteca/trabalhos_arquivo_AQNHMN8LJY4B5043FCE9_28_7433_21_02_2019_23_20_42.pdf. Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
http://www.compos.org.br/biblioteca/trab...
, p. 7-8).

Thus, the following diagram was created to illustrate the analytical model elaborated for this research, based on the dimensions of the discourse proposed by Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p.:

Figure 2
Analytical dimensions of discourse

For the purposes of the objectives of this article, we will present below the ways in which discursive practice has been worked on in the research.

Discursive practice

The discursive practice, based on Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., brings Foucaultian elements in its logic while criticizing the reasoning of the author. According to Foucault (2012)FOUCAULT, M. A Arqueologia do Saber. 8a. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Forense Universitária. 2012. 254p., discursive practice is not limited to a discourse or the way of manufacturing but constitutes rules that define the conditions of exercise of enunciative function and, in a complex way, is always in relationships and resorting to other discursive and non-discursive practices, not restricted to a specific text or discourse. This is one of the main points that establishes the difference between the notions of discursive practice adopted by the two authors: for Fairclough (2001, p. 82)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., discursive practice is one of the three-dimensional elements of discourse - it is within social practice and contains the text - but it must be understood from “real examples of people who do, say or write things”. This way, it is necessary that the CDA, especially in the dimension of discursive practice, be developed from the text and linguistics, that is, from the “concrete instances of discourse”, because,

When they [concrete instances of discourse] are included in the TODA [Textually Oriented Discourse Analysis], they would be subject not only to linguistic forms of textual analysis, but to analysis in three dimensions: text analysis, analysis of discursive processes of production and textual interpretation (including the question of what types and genres of discourse are made and how they are articulated) and social analysis of the discursive event, in terms of its conditions and social effects at various levels (situational, institutional, societal). [...]. Thus, what I advocate is textual analysis in conjunction with other types of analysis

(FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 82).

Thus, in our research, we assumed the CDA from Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p. and, in this logic, we consider the discourse of mining as a5 5 For Fairclough (2001, p. 91), discourse should be perceived as “a practice, not only of representation of the world, but of meaning of the world, constituting and building the world in meaning”. discursive practice that is not opposed to social practice but manifests itself as a 6 6 It is important to note that, also in Fairclough (2001, p. 93), the analysis of discursive practice, even if carried out from the text, must always be related to that of social practice, since “the discursive constitution of society does not come from a free game of ideas in people’s heads, but from a social practice that is firmly rooted in material social structures, concrete, oriented towards them”. special form of this, consciously and unconsciously shaped by social structures, by power relations and by the nature of the social practice in which it is involved.

In this perspective, when we deal with the discursive practice of mining, we are referring to the manifestation of discourse in the form of texts, which are spoken and/or written, and considering the processes of production, distribution, and textual consumption, always in relations with other texts (intertextuality and interdiscursivity) and with social practice. To do so, it is necessary to proceed with what Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p. calls macroanalysis and to identify the processes and discursive orders used for the production and interpretation of texts.

Discourse, understood as one that constitutes and constructs the world in meaning -in the case of this article, “the world of mining” - must be observed from three constitutive aspects and correlated to three functions of language and dimensions of meaning that coexist and interact throughout discourse (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p.): identity function, relational function, and ideational function. The first aspect places discourse as identity and position of subjects and is correlated with identity language or how those subjects are established through discourse. The second refers to the way a given discourse contributes to social relations between organizations and between people, when it performs the relational function, establishing the ways in which social relations are represented and negotiated among the participants of the discourse. And, finally, the third aspect concerns the contribution of discourse to the construction of knowledge systems and beliefs, when it exerts the ideational function of language, that is, texts begin to mean the world and its processes. Thus, discursive practice “contributes to reproducing society (social identities, social relations, knowledge systems and belief) as it is, but also contributes to transform it” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 92).

Having identified those aspects, we start with the analysis of discursive practice, considering four steps: a) interdiscursivity, b) the manifest intertextuality, c) the textual chains and d) the coherence of this practice or, said to be different, the meaning, from the reader’s point of view. The interdiscursivity, which is in the production of the discourse, refers to the origin of this discourse and contains the elements that will give order to the discourse, which lead and shape the genre. In the analysis of interdiscursivity, it is necessary to verify if the text and interactions present therein contain 7 7 Fairclough (2005) assumes the term interaction in its broadest meaning, considering both the conversation and a newspaper article, for example, as forms of interaction, even though the interlocutors are not at the same time and space. In this perspective, the written text, arranged on the ICMM website, is a form of interaction. elements that can denote the rearticulation of the discursive order.

In this perspective, when analyzing the interdiscursivity of mining from the positions of the ICMM, we seek to understand the order of discourse and its relationship with the context: the mining industry, media - in particular, in our analysis - and society. “One aspect of this ordering is dominance: some ways of constructing meaning are dominant or are in vogue for certain orders of discourse; others are marginal, subversive, alternative” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 92). Thus, it is essential to identify genres, discourses and styles that constitute the text and the way they generate particular articulations.

Intertextuality manifests, that is, the explicit reference to other texts within those we are analyzing, is another element that must be observed, because it also functions as an indication that refers to the origin of this discursive practice. The analysis of intertextual chains seeks to understand the distribution of discursive practice, the variety of institutional domains, the potential for the use and reuse of discourse beyond the listeners/readers to which it is addressed. The discourse of mining, especially that carried out by the ICMM, produces

in order to anticipate their distribution, transformation, and consumption, and in them they build multiple readers. They can anticipate not only the ‘receivers’ (those to which the text is directed directly), but also the ‘listeners’ (those who think the text is not directed directly but are included among the readers) and ‘recipients’ (those who are not part of the ‘official’ readers but are known as consumers in fact)

(FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 108).

Thus, such discourses consider their distribution to multiple readers, with a view to multiplying their reverberation. In this logic, we proceed with the analysis of discursive practice to understand the coherence of the discourse, whose observation is not restricted to production, but is mainly related to the consumption of the text. It is interesting to emphasize the importance of semiosis in the conformation of diverse styles and its relationship with the different positions occupied by the social actors’ links in discursive practice. Each position is related to aspects of identity that exceed the very construction of the position. According to Fairclough (2005, p. 310)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., “Styles are ways of being, identities, in their semiotic aspect”.

Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p. also draws attention to the relationship between discursive practice and social practice, since meaning connections generally rely on contextual, social, and ideological assumptions, and thus coherent reading is related to the particular interpretative principles to which the reader resorts. However, this does not mean, as the author points out (FAIRCLOUGH, 2001FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 114), the absence of a possibility “of struggle as to different readings of the texts, but also of resistance to the positions established in the texts”. Next, in order to understand the importance of the social actor whose discourse is the object of analysis, the ICMM and its place in the mining sector are located.

ICMM is born with the discourse of change

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) was born in 2001 after a prolonged period of economic recession, from the 1980s to the end of the 1990s, fueled by oil crises and the collapse of the Soviet Union among other factors that impacted global demand for minerals. By the end of the1990s, investors had largely lost interest in mining and commodity prices had plummeted. The global concern of the time bowed to technological development and products became less material intensive. Copper pipes, for example, began to be produced in a finer way, reducing the quantity of ore needed (HUMPHREYS, 2015HUMPHREYS, D. The remaking of the mining industry. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 256p.).

They were associated with this scenario, social criticism and public opposition to the sector, in the early 2000s compromising the “social license to operate” the mining industry.8 8 Social license to operate: the continued approval or acceptance of a company’s activities by the local community and other stakeholders. This informal endorsement can be obtained and renewed through meaningful dialogue and responsible behavior (ICMM, 2021). In this way, a group of leaders and executives from mining and metals companies created the Global Mining Initiative (GMI). Led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), GMI “sought internal reform, a review of the various associations to which they belonged and a rigorous study of the social issues that their industry had to face” (ICMM, 2021INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Our history. Londres: ICMM, 2021. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annual-reviews/our-history. Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annu...
).

The initiative provided a process of consultation and research, considered unprecedented in the sector, which extended for two years gathering and working perceptions of different social actors interested in the sector. Presented as a report, the result of this initiative “proposed an agenda of changes that would revitalize the industry and bring a greater alignment between the actions of industry and the values of contemporary society -exactly where a significative gap opened”(ICMM, 2021INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Our history. Londres: ICMM, 2021. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annual-reviews/our-history. Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annu...
).

Thus was born the ICMM, with the objective of being configured as a catalyst for changes for the mining and metals industry. In this logic, in 2003, ICMM “developed 10 defining principles to guide change in industry. Over the years, a series of positioning statements have been developed to monitor and strengthen the 10 ICMM Principles” (ICMM, 2021INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Our history. Londres: ICMM, 2021. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annual-reviews/our-history. Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annu...
). Today, the Council presents itself as an international organization that “supports a safe, fair and sustainable mining industry” and brings together 27 of the world’s largest mining and metals companies, and more than 30 regional and market associations, worldwide.

Discursive Tracks of Mining

According to Oliveira et al. (2019, p.10)OLIVEIRA, I. de L.; HENRIQUES, M. S.; LIMA, F. P. Um modelo analítico das práticas discursivas no contexto das organizações: proposta metodológica em construção. In: ENCONTRO ANUAL DA COMPÓS. Porto Alegre: COMPÓS, 2019. Anais.... Disponível em: http://www.compos.org.br/biblioteca/trabalhos_arquivo_AQNHMN8LJY4B5043FCE9_28_7433_21_02_2019_23_20_42.pdf. Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
http://www.compos.org.br/biblioteca/trab...
, “there is a metadiscourse produced and sustained by the mining industry at the global9 9 Metadiscourse it is a “field of language study from different theoretical perspectives and can be considered as an embodiment of the relations of interaction between interlocutors through the text. {...} is, therefore, an important link between a text and its content, since it points to the expectations that readers have for certain forms of interaction and engagement” (SILVA, 2017, p. 41). level, which is an important basis for the public justifications of this economic sector.” In this context, we define as an object of analysis the discourse of mining, nucleated by the ICMM. This actor was selected for its representativeness, to the extent that it occupies a prominent place in the elaboration and circulation of a thought about mining, as presented. The delimitation of the corpus is based on information published by the actor/enunciator (ICMM) and/or published information about it. The research is based on guidelines involving the ICMM and develops from the systematic search in internet search10 10 Google and Duck Duck Go. engines, with filters and keywords.

ICMM member companies, to which we can consider recipients, direct readers of their discourse, commit themselves to a set of 10 principles of the institution and a series of position statements developed to extend those principles and align them as best practices for the sustainable development of the minerals and metals industry (ICMM, 2019INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Compromissos dos membros. Londres: ICMM, 2019. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/pt/nossos-membros/compromissos-dos-membros/declaracoes-de-posicao. Acesso em: 20 jun. 2019.
https://www.icmm.com/pt/nossos-membros/c...
). As a guide to this alignment, eight Statements of Positions are currently available on the ICMM website, dated September 2003, February 2009, July 2009, January 2010, June 2011, May 2013, December 2016, and January 2017. Considering the objective of our research, we use those Statements of Position as prominent agendas of the actor to support the interactional searches and the composition of a relational map.

From the complete reading of the seven Position Statements, which fall within the temporal scope of the research (2008 to 2018), we performed the analysis of discursive practice in its four dimensions: interdiscursivity, manifest intertextuality, intertextual chains, and text coherence. We sought to identify, in those documents, what allowed us to define the keywords we use in internet search engines, Duck Duck GO and Google. In both, the words were searched with the application of the filter “news” of the search engines themselves since our goal is to analyze the discursive constellation around mining and not just the speech of a specific actor. We also use the languages of Portuguese, English and Spanish in search. We chose the anonymous browsing page 11 11 Feature made available by some contemporary browsers, the anonymous mode of navigation prevents the recording of information received in the browser through the worldwide network of computers. in an attempt to minimize results based on personal search algorithms.

In the formation of the corpus, the results of news that exceeded the ten-year time frame (2008 to 2018) were not counted; news available only to paid subscribers; the links that gave error when clicked; and, obviously, the news that, despite appearing in the search fi lter of a given keyword, do not address the theme of the research in question. Still in the process of delimitation and conformation of the corpus, the results found in search engines can intersect in three situations, being equally excluded: appearance in more than one keyword; appearance in the same keyword in another search engine; appearance in another keyword in another search engine.

For the pilot analysis, in this exploratory phase, we randomly defi ned the June 2011 Declaration of Position, entitled “Principles for designing policies on climate change”, as an experimental sample of the methodological path proposed here. Considering the four steps presented above, we analyzed the interdiscursivity, manifest intertextuality, coherence, and intertextual chains in the material, as well as the identity, ideational and relational functions of the discourse. In the analysis, which goes beyond the objectives of the present paper, we traced the profi le of the actor (ICMM) and, as a result, we elect the following keywords for search in Duck Duck Go and Google search engines: Greenhouse effect ICMM; Efecto invernadero ICMM; Sustainable development ICMM; Climate change ICMM.

As a result of the initial effort, we reached a corpus composed of 157 documents available and that are not repeated, in both search engines (34 documents in Duck Duck Go and 123, on Google), as shown in the following table:

Table 1
Conformation of the corpus generated from the principles for designing policies on climate change

From the keywords researched we realized that “sustainable development” and “climate change” are the agendas that most reverberate among the news of the search engines, evidencing a discursive trail around the mining that can and be considered, appropriating Fairclough (2005, p. 314)FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186., as an attempt to “rearrange social practices”, which will be configured, in later stage of the research, in ideas-force in the analysis of the textual dimension.

In this sense, and from this Declaration of Position, in relation to the three constitutive aspects and correlated to the functions of language and dimensions of meaning that coexist and interact in every discourse, we can say that the ICMM identifies itself as the voice of mining while placing itself as the interlocutor of the sector. It intends, through a semiotic process, to restructure and to rescales the orders of discourse, “involving new structural relations and scaling between genres, discourses and styles” (FAIRCLOUGH, 2005FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., p. 315). The ICMM and its members stand as holders of “a legitimate platform from which the mining industry can promote principles and become part of the policy projection process” (ICMM, 2019INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Compromissos dos membros. Londres: ICMM, 2019. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/pt/nossos-membros/compromissos-dos-membros/declaracoes-de-posicao. Acesso em: 20 jun. 2019.
https://www.icmm.com/pt/nossos-membros/c...
), reinforcing its role in the structure of the sector and, consequently, in society. As an ideational function, the ICMM, always together with its members, seeks to “contribute to sustainable development while maintaining competitive in a low carbon economy”, enhancing, with this style, its representation of dominance.

In relation to interdiscursivity, we can say that the discourse of the ICMM, in the position of the statement analyzed, assumes the genre of order, since it places the obligation of implementation by its members, including the determination of deadlines for this. The notion of sustainable development in this declaration of position is associated with the continuous competitiveness of companies and should involve governments, industry, civil society and media, elements that give order to speech and reinforce structural relations already established in the social domain. When we seek to analyze the manifest intertextuality, the ICMM makes references to other organs/institutions such as UNFCC (Copenhagen, 2009), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and UNCSD Rio+20 in order to strengthen its discourse and, consequently, the discursive practice of mining.

From the point of view of the main vehicles that reverberate the selected agendas and thus form the interactional field, online research revealed them in the following order of relevance: 1) Mining Review: main monthly magazine and digital platform in the African mining industry; 2) Global Mining: digital publication for executives on the sector; 3) UNESCO/WHC: platform with information that is created by various sources internal and external to the UNESCO World Heritage Center. From those first findings, we will invest in the deepening not only on the identification of those actors, understood in the context of the discursive constellation of mining, but also of the main interlocutors who appear in some way triggered in the analyzed documents.

Final considerations

In this paper, we deal with the steps to be developed for the analysis of discursive practice from Fairclough (2001)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p. and present the initial path to carry out the proposed research, which are configured as the first trials for a research using those procedures. In this pilot analysis, we have already been able to perceive the role of the actor ICMM in the dissemination and reverberation of the “mining discourse” in relation to climate change policies, placing itself in a privileged position of representation and consolidation of this discursive practice, always together with its members, the 27 mining and metals companies and the 30 associates, considered members/part of the ICMM.

As we highlight in the analysis presented, it was possible to identify the complexity and extent of this discourse, in its reverberation in the media. In the first findings, we have already been able to identify relevant ideas-forces, some of the main interlocutors and how they relate discursively. We also perceive the strength of organizations such as ICMM in the reverberation of the discursive practice of mining defining a way of thinking and being of society in a game of public justification of the sector in order to crystallize it as a necessary social - and economic practice.

Thus, we can say that this pilot analysis, presented as a possible methodological path for the apprehension of organizational discourses, opens promising perspectives for research in the context of mining and other sectors and organizations, from the CDA. Through this, it is possible to identify how the power of organizations, in the case of the mining sector, can be reinforced and reverberated from the discourse that produces knowledge, circulating information consumed as naturalized discourses, bearers of truths, and as ways of acting and interacting, shaping, and naturalizing beliefs and behaviors. However, they are configured as discourses operated by organizations, including communication areas, which represent the dominance of the sector presented as indispensable to the global and national/local economy. The analysis shows that the discourse proposed from the ICMM as a discourse of change is limited to adjustments and adaptations in order to provide the best coexistence with society.

The analysis of organizational discourses based on CDA has the potential to rethink the very performance of communication in organizational contexts beyond the utilitarian and technical bias that mark the trajectory of the area, as mentioned in the introduction of this paper. Critical Discourse Analysis shows us that the genres, discourses, and styles of a sector such as mining have the capacity to colonize governments and public sectors at different scales, merging and combining old and new forms evidenced in discourse, through dominant ways of constructing meanings with a view to maintaining and strengthening dominance. If Rajagopalan (2003)RAJAGOPALAN, K. Por uma lingüística crítica. São Paulo: Parábola, 2003. claims to the linguist a role of social scientist who must serve society, contributing to the improvement of the living conditions of the less privileged sectors, also practitioners in the area of organizational communication should be called to the recognition of their responsibilities in the conformation of the social world (and the inequalities that cross it), from the discursive practices that conform.

  • 1
    Paper originally presented at the Public Relations and Organizational Communication GP of the 42nd Brazilian Congress of Communication Sciences, with modifications.
  • 2
    Practices, in this perspective, are the ways of acting in society that can be arising from its structure and a certain social position, but also from a domain of social action and interaction that induces reproduction or transformation of structures (FAIRCLOUGH, 2005FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186.).
  • 3
    A research being developed by the Research Group Dialorg, at PUC Minas, it should be emphasized, it is more comprehensive and investigates different actors in relation to the discursive constellation of the mining sector. In the case of this paper, it is taken as an object of analysis only one of those actors, the ICMM, which also positions itself as one of the main spokespersons in the sector.
  • 4
    The work recognizes and considers reflections subsequently made to the seminal proposition of the CDA here assumed, including discussions undertaken by the author himself (see CHOULIARAKI and FAIRCLOUGH, 1999CHOULIARAKI, L.; FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discourse in late modernity: rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999.; FAIRCLOUGH, 2009FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186.) or the work of Ramalho and Resende (2004)RAMALHO, V.; RESENDE, V. de M. Análise de Discurso Crítica, do modelo tridimensional à articulação entre práticas: implicações teórico-metodológicas. Linguagem em (Dis)curso - LemD, Tubarão, v. 5, n.1, p. 185-207, jul./dez. 2004.. Likely, it takes the model adopted as one of the references in CDA, which needs to be considered in the context of other propositions that seek to articulate the dimension of the agency and structure, according to the broad spectrum of operationalization in the linguistic field (WOCK and MEYER, 2009WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009.). However, we understand that the methodological synthesis initially proposed, in its essence, remains preserved and, therefore, is thus considered in the paper presented.
  • 5
    For Fairclough (2001, p. 91)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., discourse should be perceived as “a practice, not only of representation of the world, but of meaning of the world, constituting and building the world in meaning”.
  • 6
    It is important to note that, also in Fairclough (2001, p. 93)FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social. Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p., the analysis of discursive practice, even if carried out from the text, must always be related to that of social practice, since “the discursive constitution of society does not come from a free game of ideas in people’s heads, but from a social practice that is firmly rooted in material social structures, concrete, oriented towards them”.
  • 7
    Fairclough (2005)FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186. assumes the term interaction in its broadest meaning, considering both the conversation and a newspaper article, for example, as forms of interaction, even though the interlocutors are not at the same time and space. In this perspective, the written text, arranged on the ICMM website, is a form of interaction.
  • 8
    Social license to operate: the continued approval or acceptance of a company’s activities by the local community and other stakeholders. This informal endorsement can be obtained and renewed through meaningful dialogue and responsible behavior (ICMM, 2021INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Our history. Londres: ICMM, 2021. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annual-reviews/our-history. Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
    https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annu...
    ).
  • 9
    Metadiscourse it is a “field of language study from different theoretical perspectives and can be considered as an embodiment of the relations of interaction between interlocutors through the text. {...} is, therefore, an important link between a text and its content, since it points to the expectations that readers have for certain forms of interaction and engagement” (SILVA, 2017SILVA, A. Metadiscurso na perspectiva de Hyland: definições, modelos de categorização e possíveis contribuições. Letras, Santa Maria, v. 27, n. 54, jan./jun., 2017. p. 41-67., p. 41).
  • 10
    Google and Duck Duck Go.
  • 11
    Feature made available by some contemporary browsers, the anonymous mode of navigation prevents the recording of information received in the browser through the worldwide network of computers.

Referências

  • CHOULIARAKI, L.; FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discourse in late modernity: rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999.
  • FAIRCLOUGH, N. A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. In: WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009, p. 162-186.
  • FAIRCLOUGH, N. Discurso e mudança social Brasília: Editora Universidade de Brasília. 2001. 316p.
  • FOUCAULT, M. A Arqueologia do Saber 8a. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Forense Universitária. 2012. 254p.
  • HUMPHREYS, D. The remaking of the mining industry Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 256p.
  • INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Compromissos dos membros Londres: ICMM, 2019. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/pt/nossos-membros/compromissos-dos-membros/declaracoes-de-posicao Acesso em: 20 jun. 2019.
    » https://www.icmm.com/pt/nossos-membros/compromissos-dos-membros/declaracoes-de-posicao
  • INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND METALS. Our history Londres: ICMM, 2021. Disponível em: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annual-reviews/our-history Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
    » https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/about-us/annual-reviews/our-history
  • OLIVEIRA, I. de L; PAULA, C. F. C. Comunicação no contexto das organizações; produtora ou ordenadora de sentidos? In: OLIVEIRA, I. de L.; SOARES, A. T. Interfaces e tendências da comunicação no contexto das organizações São Caetano do Sul: Difusão Editora, 2011. p. 91-108.
  • OLIVEIRA, I. de L.; HENRIQUES, M. S.; LIMA, F. P. Um modelo analítico das práticas discursivas no contexto das organizações: proposta metodológica em construção. In: ENCONTRO ANUAL DA COMPÓS. Porto Alegre: COMPÓS, 2019. Anais.... Disponível em: http://www.compos.org.br/biblioteca/trabalhos_arquivo_AQNHMN8LJY4B5043FCE9_28_7433_21_02_2019_23_20_42.pdf Acesso em: 4 jan. 2021.
    » http://www.compos.org.br/biblioteca/trabalhos_arquivo_AQNHMN8LJY4B5043FCE9_28_7433_21_02_2019_23_20_42.pdf
  • RAJAGOPALAN, K. Por uma lingüística crítica São Paulo: Parábola, 2003.
  • RAMALHO, V.; RESENDE, V. de M. Análise de Discurso Crítica, do modelo tridimensional à articulação entre práticas: implicações teórico-metodológicas. Linguagem em (Dis)curso - LemD, Tubarão, v. 5, n.1, p. 185-207, jul./dez. 2004.
  • RAMALHO, V.; RESENDE, V. de M. Análise de discurso (para a) crítica: O texto como material de pesquisa. Coleção: Linguagem e Sociedade, v. 1, Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores, 2011.
  • SILVA, A. Metadiscurso na perspectiva de Hyland: definições, modelos de categorização e possíveis contribuições. Letras, Santa Maria, v. 27, n. 54, jan./jun., 2017. p. 41-67.
  • WOCK, R.; MEYER, M. (ed). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis 2a. ed. Londres: SAGE, 2009.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    03 Sept 2021
  • Date of issue
    May-Aug 2021

History

  • Received
    28 Feb 2019
  • Accepted
    02 Feb 2021
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