(Inter)faces of Dialogue: Constructing Identity through Language Use
5 – 8 June 2014
Transilvania University of Braşov (Romania)
The way people talk, dress or behave are types of social codes, important ways of displaying who we are; in other words, they indicate our social identity. Each individual wants to build (him)herself a certain identity. There are multiple identities – some of them are wanted, while some others are unwanted – and a speaker faces a dilemma to choose the best identity for a certain situation and this “browsing” of identities may be achieved through dialogue. In approaching the topic of this workshop, we start from the premise that humans are dialogic beings, users and learners of language in various contexts. While acting and reacting in ever-changing environments (interpersonal or institutional), people try “to achieve more or less effectively certain purposes in dialogic interaction” (Weigand 2008: 3).
The academic interest for social relationships and the way they are organized in dialogues can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, once Malinowski first suggested in 1923 that humans share “phatic communion”. Scholars in interpersonal communication, social psychology and sociology have ever since highlighted that the concept of ‘identity’ is important for studying the organization of social life.
Individuals use language to construct an identity (or a set of identities) for themselves, while communities use language as a means of identifying their members and of establishing boundaries. Once an individual adheres to a group or a community of practice (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1998), (s)he will adopt (and sometimes adapt) the existing linguistic conventions of that group.
The workshop aims at looking the ways in which identity is created and reflected in dialogic action games. We are particularly interested in studying the (inter)faces of dialogue from different perspectives and in different – European and non European – languages. The workshop aims to be interdisciplinary and therefore welcomes proposals from scholars from different areas.
We welcome individual paper presentations, panels and posters that explore topics in the following areas, but are not limited to:
- Construction of personal and group identity
- Names and naming practices
- Identity construction and humour
- Identity and representation
- Linguistic variation and the construction of identity
- Construction of cultural identity in minority languages
- Identity construction and power
- Construction of identity in computer-mediated communication
- Construction of identity through mass-media
The abstract submission deadline (including panel proposals) is 15 December 2013 and the notification of acceptance will be received by 20 January 2014.