Social Identification and Positioning in Academic Discourse: An English-Polish Comparative Study
Languages of publication
This article sets out to present the critical role of positioning theory and social identification theory in the discoursal analysis of authorial presence in academic texts by focusing on the dynamic nature of writer identity. Drawing on Harré’s, Fairclough’s and Hall’s work, and my own focus on the relationship between students’ identities and their experience of academic writing, I claim that discoursal identity often establishes itself in relation to difference and that it refers to the various “selves” which writers employ in the act of writing, which locates identity in socio-cultural and institutionally defined subject positions. An empirical case is then presented. It consists of a description of my own semi-ethnographic study1 on the co-construction of authorial identity in student writing in both English and Polish, focusing on the findings of the macro-level analysis of a text corpus. The findings of the study support my other claim that authorial identity is a dynamic concept which cannot be determined entirely by socio-cultural or institutional factors, but is unique for each writer and can be negotiated and changed.
- Burke, Kenneth (1969) A Rhetoric of Motives. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Chamberlyne, Prue, Joanna Bornat, Tom Wengraf (2000) The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Science. London: Routledge.
- Connolly, William E. (1991) Identity / Difference. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Duszak, Anna (1994) “Academic Discourse and Intellectual Styles.” [In:] Journal of Pragmatics 21; 291–313.
- Duszak, Anna (1997) “Cross-Cultural Academic Communication: A Discourse-Community View.” [In:] Anna Duszak (ed.) Culture and Styles of Academic Discourse. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter; 11–39.
- Fairclough, Norman (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Fisiak, Jacek (1981) Contrastive Linguistics and the Language Teacher. New York: Pergamon.
- Gee, James P. (1990) Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses. Basingstoke: Falmer Press.
- Gee, James P. (2012) Social Linguistics and Literacies. London: Routledge.
- Geertz, Clifford (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz. New York: Basic Books.
- Golebiowski, Zofia (1998) “Rhetorical Approaches to Scientific Writing: An English-Polish Contrastive Study.” [In:] Text 18 (1); 67–102.
- Golebiowski, Zofia (2006) “Globalisation of Academic Communities and the Style of Research Reporting: The Case of Sociology Research Article.” [In:] Transcultural Studies: A Series in Interdisciplinary Research 1; 57–72.
- Hall, Stuart, Paul du Gay (eds.) (1996) Questions of Cultural Identity. London: Sage Publications.
- Harré, Rom, Luk van Langenhove (1999) Positioning Theory. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
- Ivanič, Roz (1998) Writing and Identity. The Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic Writing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Kress, Gunther, Theo van Leeuwen (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. New York: Routledge.
- Leeuwen, Theo van (2008) Discourse and Practice: Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.
Publication order reference