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Identities across Media and Modes: Discursive Perspectives


Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone and Paola Catenaccio

The recognition that identity is mutable, multi-layered and subject to multiple modes of construction and de-construction has contributed to problematizing the issues associated with its representation in discourse, which has recently been attracting increasing attention in different disciplinary areas. Identity representation is the main focus of this volume, which analyses instances of multimedia and multimodal communication to the public at large for commercial, informative, political or cultural purposes. In particular, it examines the impact of the increasingly sophisticated forms of expression made available by the evolution of communication technologies, especially in computer-mediated or web-based settings, but also in more traditional media (press, cinema, TV). The basic assumption shared by all contributors is that communication is the locus where identities, either collective, social or individual, are deliberately constructed and negotiated.
In their variety of topics and approaches, the studies collected in this volume testify to the criticality of representing personal, professional and organizational identities through the new media, as their ability to reach a virtually unlimited audience amplifies the potential political, cultural and economic impact of discursive identity constructions. They also confirm that new highly sophisticated media can forge identities well beyond the simply iconic or textual representation, generating deeply interconnected webs of meaning capable of occupying an expanding – and adaptable – discursive space.


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CYNTHIA JANE KELLETT BIDOLI Transfer of Institutional and Political Identity through TV News Reporting for the Italian Deaf 311


CYNTHIA KELLETT BIDOLI Transfer of Institutional and Political Identity through TV News Reporting for the Italian Deaf 1. Introduction Television programmes offer society a varied mixture of linguistic genres and registers among which is hidden a plethora of domain- specific terminology. Though television tends towards offering forms of entertainment, such as game shows, sitcoms and films as opposed to more serious intellectual programmes, a great deal of institutional and political discourse flows through the cathodic tube in the form of news reports which are the focus of this chapter. Within the Turin University research unit of an Italian National Research Project1 investigating The Construction of Identity in Socio-political Discourse, the author has investigated Anglo-American institutional and political identity contained in television news reports and its transfer to a particular target audience: the Italian Deaf community.2 Deaf and hard-of-hearing people live in a visual environment which includes contact with English through the Internet and other multimodal media (Kellett Bidoli 2007). Their dependence on visual information requires them to resort to specialized forms of informa- tion transfer: subtitling in Italian to follow feature films (Kellett Bidoli 2008a, 2008b) and, if they are signers, provision of Italian Sign Language (Lingua Italiana dei Segni – LIS) interpretation to enable 1 PRIN prot.2005109911 Identity and Culture in English Domain-specific Discourse coordinated by Prof. Maurizio Gotti. See: . 2 It is an accepted convention in the literature to use ‘deaf’ (with a lowercase ‘d’) to refer to the audiological condition, while ‘Deaf’ is used to refer to those...

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