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Languaging in and across Communities: New Voices, New Identities

Studies in Honour of Giuseppina Cortese


Edited By Sandra Campagna, Elana Ochse, Virginia Pulcini and Martin Solly

The title of this volume intentionally echoes that of a landmark issue of Textus on «Languaging» in and across Human Groups, edited by Giuseppina Cortese and Dell Hymes in 2001, since the notion of ‘languaging’ seems to capture most effectively the essence and the continuity in the life and work of Giuseppina Cortese, to whom the book is dedicated. It brings together contributions by a number of distinguished scholars that shed new light on current developments in this dynamic area of discourse analysis, especially taking into account recent research and emerging insights on speech communities and communities of practice.
The sections in the volume are designed as main threads of a new investigation into ‘languaging’. The first, entitled Languaging Awareness, deals with recent findings in applied linguistics, exploring key topics in language acquisition, language learning and teaching and the changing role of the media. The second section, Languaging Identity, prioritizes the theme of the construction of identity in text and talk within a linguistic and languaging framework. The third section, Languaging Community, explores the notion of community, of the lifeworld and the textworld emanating from a variety of domains, closely inspecting contemporary events and showing, on a continuum with Cortese’s approach, how memory of the past gives depth of meaning to a discourse analysis that is geared to linguistic and textual awareness.


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Section 2: Languaging Identity


Philip Riley How Do They Get Away With It? Identity Construction, ‘The Imposter’ and the Psychology of Consumer Detriment 1. Introduction One morning not so long ago, I went into my office at the university and as usual switched on my computer to check on my emails. At the time, we were all being inundated by vast amounts of spam and I was neither surprised nor delighted to learn that I was the winner of no less than three different national lotteries, that two and a half million dollars were awaiting me in a Nigerian bank, and that a beautiful young Russian lady had fallen in love with my photograph on the university website and only needed the price of an air ticket to come winging her way towards me to administer to my every need. I was sick and tired of these mes- sages, so I turned towards our secretary and asked her, “What kind of fool do they think I am? How do they get away with it? Who on earth believes these things?” Without taking her eyes from her own screen, she replied in a tense, tired voice, “My mother.” Naturally, this led to quite a lengthy discussion, during which we touched on many of the basic issues such cases raise: gullibility, self-presentation, fraudulent techniques and schemes, the successful adoption of a false persona, strategies of persuasion, entrapment and compliance, altercasting (the ability to convincingly play roles that position one’s interlocutor in a complementary role that can...

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