The (Re)Creation of Self-Identity in Times of Crises

The Case of AstraZeneca Press-Releases


  • Stefania M. Maci Università degli studi di Bergamo


Parole chiave:

Press release, Evidentiality, Agency, Corpus Linguistics, Covd-19


Press releases are official (electronic) statements written by corporations and institutions to deliver significant information to the media and the general public. Although theoretically informative, press releases are a self-promotional tool because the pieces of information they deliver are produced by the organization – the source – that writes the press release. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the source of information as linguistically realized in terms of evidentiality and patterns of agency in AstraZeneca’s press releases delivered during the pandemic. More specifically, this paper will offer a corpus-based analysis of all the press releases (62) issued by AstraZeneca during the pandemic to identify the patterns of agency and evidentiality, with the purpose of detecting the extent to which, if any, the company (re)construct its image before and after the deaths supposedly linked to Covid vaccine. The results seem to indicate that different rhetorical and persuasive strategies, as well as image restoring strategies, are employed: while promotion may require booster devices, hedging devices are necessary whenever the press release seems over-confident in the conveying of the pieces of information. As usual, caution is necessary not only to diminish negative face threats but also to prevent possible attacks from future investigations denying cognitive consensus.

Biografia autore

Stefania M. Maci, Università degli studi di Bergamo

Stefania M. Maci (PhD, Lancaster University, UK) is Full Professor of English Language at the University of Bergamo, where she is Coordinator of the MA in Text Sciences and Cultural Enhancement in the Digital Age, Director of the Research Centre on Specialised Languages, and Coordinator of the Research Group on Digital Humanities. Her research focuses on the study of English in academic and professional contexts, with particular attention to the analysis of tourism and medical discourses. Her recent publications include the monographs Evidentiality in the genre of medical posters (2022 – Peter Lang) and English Tourism Discourse (2020 - Hoepli); the co-edited volumes The Routledge Handbook of Discourse and Disinformation (2023 – Routledge); The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Communication (2022 - Routledge); and papers about the popularization of medical discourse.




Come citare

Maci, S. M. (2024). The (Re)Creation of Self-Identity in Times of Crises: The Case of AstraZeneca Press-Releases. Elephant & Castle, (32), 96–110.