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Identity in Communicative Contexts

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Edited By Kamila Ciepiela

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.

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Language, leadership and visibility in online discussions

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Abstract The focus of the present paper is to identify, by means of linguistic and discourse analysis of online discussions, most active users and, through this, to make an attempt to determine the most characteristic identity properties of the leading commentators and leadership in CMC. It is argued that to achieve leadership in online discussion what is crucial is to maintain online (anonymous) visibility (see Walther 2011, Graham and Wright 2014) among the groups of commentators in a thread. Considering the absence of visual clues in internet exchanges, it is language and discourse strategies that are playing a decisive role in visibility management. English and Polish strategies aiming at visibility maintenance are referred to and exemplified on the relevant corpus materials. Both quantitative and qualitative properties of the discourses are compared and models of culture-specific leadership are proposed in the conclusions.

Introduction

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