The central focus of the book is the identification of the ways people engage in communicative encounters to (re)constitute personal and social identities. Its aim is to identify some principal themes that have emerged from the ample research on identity in a variety of contexts. A common thread of the articles is the role of language in the construction and performance of identities. It embraces an exploration of the sociocultural environments in which human communication takes place, the interplay between these environments, and the construction and display of identities through our communicative performances. Research located in a range of literary, sociological, psychological and linguistic perspectives is used to illustrate the potential of communication in establishing a sense of identity.
Explorations of the issue of identity in communicative contexts: Themes and methods
In his presidential address at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), in New York on May 28, 2005, Wolfgang Donsbach argued:
Any account of a state of a discipline is limited in scope and is biased. It is limited because the field grows faster than the capacity of the average scholar to process and digest new information and thus keep an overview. And it is – by default – biased because people differ in what they think is good and what they think is relevant research. (Donsbach 2006: 437).
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