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Title: Constructing and negotiating meaning : a dialogic approach to analysing chick lit
Author: Gormley, Sarah J.
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2013
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The aims of this thesis are two-fold. This thesis seeks to critically interrogate the complex web of meaning-making practices and processes which circulate around the form of popular fiction by, about and largely for women known as chick lit. In order to address this objective, this thesis develops theoretical and analytical frameworks that are sufficiently nuanced to conceptualise and analyse the construction and negotiation of the meanings of a cultural object as dynamic, emergent, and firmly embedded in social life. Scholarly analyses of chick lit have largely been undertaken from the viewpoint of literary and cultural studies, which has resulted in a predominantly textually determined view of the genre’s meanings that isolates the novels from the contexts of their production and consumption. This thesis, however, treats chick lit as a cultural phenomenon, attempting to connect a group of widely read texts with the conditions of their production, examining the way chick lit’s meanings are constructed and negotiated by both the ‘professional’ reader in the academy and the media and the ‘non- professional’ reader in the ‘everyday world’, and interrogating the societal norms, beliefs and values that impact upon these appraisals. In order to conceptualise meaning- making in the complex and multifaceted way required by these aims, this thesis adopts dialogism as an interactional and contextual theory for human sense-making, and that, by placing the work of V.N. Volosinov at its centre, is linguistically oriented. However, the dialogic theoretical framework proposed in this thesis is a modified one, in that it addresses the weaknesses that arise from Volosinov’s failure to adequately theorise the interrelationships between social, situated, interaction and social structure. This attempt to more adequately integrate the social into dialogism extends to the form of dialogic discourse analysis also developed in this thesis, a framework that seeks to address the limitations of current models by providing a nuanced set of tools and concepts to deal specifically with the analysis of the multiply located, multifaceted meanings that accrue to a cultural object.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available