Exploring a social-linguistic construction of Chinese students’ disciplinary identities in the mediated process of group membership affiliation in a UK-based university in China

Zhang, Jing (2017) Exploring a social-linguistic construction of Chinese students’ disciplinary identities in the mediated process of group membership affiliation in a UK-based university in China. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

For the dynamic construction of Chinese students’ disciplinary identities in transnational institution, the roles of language and context in constructing multiplicity of identity remain unexplored. Based on the social and linguistic studies on identities construction, this study proposes the idea of group membership affiliation: a multi-faceted meaning-making process that mediates the relation between individual and context, in which the individual uses language to habitually engage in activities, construe positive imagination of the community and align her or himself with the other members in the groups and so gain membership. Systemic Functional Linguistics, Sociocultural theory, social identity theory and Hyland’s (2012) idea of proximity provide the theoretical and analytical frameworks for the study. The research applies an integrated methodology, drawing on lexicogrammatical and discourse-semantic approaches, as well as small amount of qualitative case study data.

The findings of the study relate to two aspects: that is, situated cultures and developmental use of disciplinary language. The first aspect is an integrated sociocultural and systemic functional linguistic approach which analyses both the public and private documents. The subsequent results show that although a mixed global and local culture is promoted in the context, non-Chinese teachers and non-Chinese students hold different understandings and acceptances to the Chinese social and contextual culture as well, as to the Chinese students. Furthermore, the study shows that the Chinese students shape proximal past, current and future possible disciplinary selves along a developmental trajectory; in the meantime, they shape their own values in the context. The second aspect is a systemic functional linguistic approach to measure the lexicogrammatical and semantic performance and negotiation in classroom discourse texts from year one to year four. The increased use of certain ideational and interpersonal resources at individual and classroom levels reveals that there is a developmental trajectory of the Chinese students’ disciplinary identities construction in the use of disciplinary language.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Irwin, Derek
Stockwell, Peter
Keywords: disciplinary identities construction, proximity of possible disciplinary selves, systemic functional linguistics, sociocultural theory
Subjects: P Language and literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Faculties/Schools: UNMC Malaysia Campus > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English
Item ID: 39441
Depositing User: ZHANG, JING
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2017 08:45
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 02:47
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/39441

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