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Title: Language and identity management across media : a communities of practice study of a Greek-Cypriot student society in Britain
Author: Christodoulou, Valentina
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This work focuses on identity management across media by focusing on a Greek-Cypriot student Society in London. By employing a Communities of Practice framework which focuses on engagement in social practice, the present work deals with issues of community making processes across media as well as the ways in which member positions and relations vis-a-vis the Society have an impact on communication practices and identity construction. Questions underlying such analysis are: A. In what ways do participation and engagement inform identity articulations related to community membership? B. In what ways are community, identities and relations negotiated over time and across media and how do these processes shape communication choices? The data were collected from multiple sites of engagement ranging from face to face recordings, e-mails, diaries, interviews, Facebook threads and the Society’s website. The analysis showed that in community making the use of e-mails and Facebook posts reproduce the development of the Society’s practices and social links among members. With regards to choices of communication mediums it was found that in member relationships characterized by emotional closeness, face-to-face and mobile communication was privileged while e-mail communication was the preferable communication mode in Society-related business. Analysis of e-mail communication among Committee members indicated that through status moves in interaction members are able to orient to particular membership identities and role-dependent activities, while issues of legitimacy to claim arose in the negotiation of past and present (Committee and ex-Committee) positions in the Society. Peripheral membership identities appeared to be the result of weakened relations of mutual engagement. Additionally, preference for Greek text in emails was found to be a way of enhancing in-group membership by aligning language choice with the assumed identities of the members. Greek language (and most importantly Cypriot Greek) - as the readily available resource of the Greek Cypriot members - appeared to be a defining factor in legitimating Greek-Cypriot members as well as the power to marginalize the British Cypriot members (’Charlies’). Ethnically-related resources such as language become tools through which relations of mutual engagement can either be strengthened, or lack mutuality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available