The Discursive Construction of Gender as Social Identity in Arabic written Discourse
Keywords:discursive construction processes, gender, identity change, in- and out-groups, interdiscursivity, social identity
Identity is the idiosyncratic features that characterize an individual as being unique. It is the dynamic per formativeness of self through behaviors, acts, clothes and etc.. When such self is shared (by sharing memories, desires, and emotions) with others, it becomes social identity. Such an identity is, thus, changed, transformed, spoke out, acknowledged and never be fixed at any moment of life. The current study aims at studying the discursive construction of social identity in Arabic written discourse. It seeks to ponder the question of what linguistic devices do the Arab writers utilize to identify themselves in discourse and to show sameness and differences between in – and out- groups. To attain the above aim, we hypothesize that Arab writers use scanted discursive and linguistic devices to identify gender in their writing. Accordingly, seven linguistic and discursive components have been chosen to analyze the discourse to unveil the identity of its writer: processes, mood, modality, vocabulary and collocation, pronouns, figurative uses of language, and interdiscursivity. The study comes with some conclusions, the most important of which are: social identity can be traced in Arabic discourse through the construction of in _ and out_ groups with the in- group being victimized by the out-group who is the dominant, a conclusion which clashes with studies of critical discourse analysis, and changes and transformation of identity occur through stages including: attention, interest, solutions and urging by giving commands.
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