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Title: Identity and style in intercultural institutional interaction : a multi-modal analysis of supervision sessions between British academics and Chinese students
Author: Dong, Pingrong
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 6448
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis analyses face-to-face and one-to-one supervision sessions between British academics and Chinese students in a British university. It argues that identity relations can be reproduced and transformed in discursive practices. Three levels of identity relations – interactional, institutional, and sociocultural – are identified to investigate both collective identities and individual styles in intercultural institutional discourse. Chapter 1 presents a review of the literature covering the major contributions to our understanding of the relationship between discourse and identity, and, based on these, Chapter 2 argues for a multi-modal analysis of intercultural institutional interaction, combining three complementary approaches: Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis; ethnographic analysis and discourse analysis; and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Chapter 3 introduces the specific context of the study and process of data collection, and presents the research focus on the reproductive and transformative attribute of identity relations in discursive practice. The institutional identity dyad SUPERVISOR-STUDENT is taken as a focal point around which interactional and sociocultural identity relations pivot. Taking supervisors and students as two separate but related homogeneous groups, Chapter 4 investigates their shared discursive practices to demonstrate the nature of the collective identities reproduced by the relevant social structures. Chapter 5 complements this analysis by highlighting the contrasts and differences amongst individual supervisors and students, and examining the ways in which identity relations are transformed. In order to enrich our understanding of these collective identities and personal styles, the qualitative discourse analysis is supplemented by word frequency statistics, and ethnographic accounts of participants’ orientations and routine linguistic and institutional practices. The conclusion to this thesis in Chapter 6 reinforces its contribution to the study of discourse and identity, that is, the introduction of a rich, multi-modal approach to the investigation of collective identities and personal styles. With supervision sessions taken as a specific type of institutional discourse, the routine and individual practices of British academics and Chinese students are analysed to provide insights into intercultural talk-ininteraction in the institutional context, supervision styles of local supervisors and participation styles of international students at a British university. As a result, the thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications for spoken English teaching in China and proposals for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Intercultural communication ; Communication and culture ; Discourse analysis ; Language and culture