Values under attack? Analysis of a Matteo Salvini post on Instagram


Aboubakar Soumahoro has
announced that he has presented a proposal to make the end of
Ramadan holiday also in Italy, in the
name of the secularism of the State:
a provocative paradox that will hardly find support in Parliament.  
Freedom of worship is one of the
founding principles of our country,
but that does not mean erasing our
values and our identity. This is the
basis of the theme of regulating
holidays in schools and stopping
unofficial celebrations, proposed
by Minister Valditara
to put an end to chaos and conflicts in schools.  

On our national holidays, which are
a collective heritage of Italians and
a thread that connects us to the
generations that preceded us,
there should be no setbacks, in full
respect of everyone.
What do you think?

Upon the suggestion of one of our attentive readers, today we examine a text published on Instagram by Matteo Salvini, which reposts an article from Il Giornale featuring the proposal of Hon. Aboubakar Soumahoro to make the last day of Ramadan a holiday.

The image, which was put together by Il Giornale and not by Salvini, prominently features the words “l’ultima di Soumahoro” (the latest by Soumahoro), a sarcastic phrase in Italian that implies someone is bringing up too many issues to be taken seriously. In the accompanying text, the summary of Soumahoro’s proposal as “a provocative paradox” presupposes that this is the case, rather than a proposal deserving of respect.

In the first paragraph of his comment, Salvini, using the words “Freedom of worship is one of the founding principles of our country, but this does not mean erasing our values and our identity,” masks with apparently conciliatory tones and themes a very serious and biased implied content: that someone intends to erase our values and our identity.

When he speaks of “ending chaos and conflict in schools,” he presupposes that there is actually chaos and conflict in schools, and that their cause is precisely the days off during non-Christian holidays, so by imposing “a stop to unofficial celebrations,” chaos and conflict in Italian schools would cease.

Through the use of a parenthetical phrase, “collective heritage of Italians and the thread that connects us to previous generations,” he topicalizes, or presents as something already on the reader’s mind, the idea that national holidays are a collective heritage of Italians and are a thread that connects them to previous generations.

Finally, by saying that “there must be no setbacks,” he implies that allowing other national holidays would mean stepping back compared to traditional ones. This is naturally false: no one is proposing to replace Easter holidays with those for Ramadan. Furthermore, once again, the choice of the word “setbacks” suggests a warlike scenario, in which two sides are pitted against each other, and reinforces the (false) message that giving space to immigrant cultures means detracting from Italian culture.

The final question inevitably becomes rhetorical, since Salvini has already expressed, albeit implicitly, what position should be taken. In this way, the reader is not invited to comment on the facts, but on a version of them implicitly constructed by Salvini, as if we were in the prelude to a clash of civilizations.

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Values under attack? Analysis of a Matteo Salvini post on Instagram

Informazioni utili alla lettura

Ogni contenuto discutibile è evidenziato con un colore diverso che corrisponde al tipo di implicito linguistico usato dal parlante in quell’occasione. Il tipo di implicito è indicato nell’etichetta che compare al passaggio, e che ne esplicita anche la funzione comunicativa.

Ogni contenuto implicito serve a realizzare un certo obbiettivo nella comunicazione: cioè, è dotato di una Funzione comunicativa. Ad esempio: Autoelogio, Elogio di altri, Attacco, Difesa e Opinione personale. 

La Presupposizione è un contenuto presentato come se i destinatari ne fossero già al corrente: in questo modo non sono indotti a metterlo in discussione.

L’Implicatura è un contenuto che non è detto esplicitamente, ma è lasciato intuire. Poiché lo implica lui, il destinatario si accorge di meno che gli è stato trasmesso dall’emittente. 

Un’Espressione vaga è compatibile con molti diversi contenuti concreti, per cui è difficile accorgersi se essa sia falsa o esagerata.

Un Topic, per i linguisti, è un’informazione presentata come se se ne stesse già parlando, quindi come se fosse già abbastanza accettata nel discorso.