Edited by Răzvan Săftoiu
[Language and Dialogue 5:1] 2015
► pp. 45–61
Dialogic representations of Britishness and Irishness
A pragmatic view
Speakers construct their identities by careful choice of the appropriate linguistic features that will convey the specific social information that identifies them as part of a particular speech community (cf. Riley 2007, Joseph 2004). The social constructionist approach focuses on how social actors use linguistic and other cultural resources in the ongoing construction and re-construction of personal and group identity in interaction. Under such a view, identity (and hence ethnicity) is necessarily dynamic (Schilling-Estes 2004). Recent research on fictional characters and scripted discourse has proved the legitimacy of this scholarly area among language studies (Kozloff 2000, Culpeper 2001, Walshe 2009, Eder et al. 2010, Dynel 2011, Furkó 2013). This paper investigates several possibilities for the dialogic construction of the British and Irish ethnic stereotype. Drawing the distinction between real and fictional characters (Culpeper 2010), the micro-sociolinguistic, pragmalinguistic analysis of my corpora, taken from contemporary cinematographic representations of Britishness and Irishness, aims to compare some of the strategies that interactional partners employ, and which reveal several facets of their identities.