Chapter published in:The Discursive Construction of Identities On- and Offline: Personal - group - collective
Edited by Birte Bös, Sonja Kleinke, Sandra Mollin and Nuria Hernández
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 78] 2018
► pp. 227–248
“And you know, Jeremy, my father came from a very poor background indeed”
Collective identities and the private-public interface in political discourse
This chapter examines the discursive construction of identity in political discourse and considers collective identities as the default in that context. It utilises an integrated approach informed by interactional sociolinguistics and discourse pragmatics. Departing from the premise that discursive identities are co-constructed, reconstructed and – possibly – deconstructed in and through the process of communication, it focuses on those contexts in which political agents depart from the default by entextualising non-collective identities, e.g., private-domain-anchored family person or ordinary citizen. The ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ of discursive identities in discourse is reflected in the importation of private-domain-anchored communicative styles and genres, such as colloquial expressions and small stories, contributing to the ongoing process of hybridisation of institutional discourse in general and political discourse in particular. The discursive construction, re- and deconstruction of identities in political discourse is a multifaceted endeavour which exploits the structural, pragmatic and cognitive constraints of a discourse genre as well as those of institution and society.
Keywords: contextualisation, decontextualisation discourse genre, discursive construction, entextualisation, hybridity, political discourse, private-public interface, recontextualisation
Published online: 23 July 2018
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