A study of identity construction in political discourse

Qaiwer, Shatha Naiyf (2016) A study of identity construction in political discourse. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis interrogates the construction of identity and self-presentation strategies in the discourse of the current President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. The study seeks to answer questions about how the President constructs the various identities evident in his discourse, what kinds of resources are drawn upon, and how the resulting identities contribute to gain the support of the audience and the progression of political discourse in general.

The present study sheds light on the construction of the personal, relational and collective identities utilising a pluralistic mixed-method approach. It draws upon the tools provided by corpus linguistics alongside a more fine-grained, narrative-based critical discourse analysis. The qualitative analysis offers a methodological synergy based on the insights of research conducted in critical discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and narrative analysis.

The study investigates not only the way identities are constructed and defended, but also their significance in shaping the professional image of the President as a caring and self-made leader. Moreover, the study examines the construction of attitudinal identity in Obama’s discourse, whether in reflecting upon his own attitude or in reference to the collective identity of the American people or the Democratic Party as a whole. The study concludes with a consideration of the potential significance of the present research, along with suggestions for future research explorations.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Mullany, Louise
Harvey, Kevin
Keywords: Identity, corpus-assisted discourse study, critical discourse analysis, political discourse
Subjects: E History - America > E151 United States (General)
P Language and literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 36158
Depositing User: Qaiwer, Shatha
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2016 06:40
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2016 21:02
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/36158

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