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Title: Talking religion : discursive construals of religious identity in rural Canada
Author: Power, Katherine Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 8982
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a discourse analytic investigation of the "social practice" (Fairc!ough & Wodak, 1997, p. 258) of "talking identity" (Hadden & Lester, 1978) - in particular, religious identity. It uses interview and group discussion data generated in the rural Canadian town of Claresholm to examine (i) how rural Canadians present themselves in terms of religion in "talk-in-interaction" (Schegloff, 1987, p. 207), and (ii) how religious discourses intersect with other public sphere discourses in such talk. Drawing on both Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA) (Hester & Eglin, 1997c; Jayyusi, 1984; Lepper, 2000; Sacks, 1979, 1992, [1972] 1986; Scbegloff, 2007c) and stance analysis (Du Bois, 2007; Englebretson, 2007b; Jaffe, 2009; Kockelman, 2004), this case study shows that Claresholm residents produce a sense of their own religious identities both (i) directly, by categorizing themselves as "belonging to" and/or "separate from" specific religious groups, and (ii) indirectly, by projecting attitudinal stances on multiculturalism, as it relates to religion. This study also shows that attitudinal stance-taking on matters other than religion is one way in which interdiscursive links are forged between religious and other public sphere discourses, such as Canadian Multicultural Discourse (CMD). In doing so, this thesis posits that religious identity can fruitfully be conceptualized as a "transportable identity" (Zimmerman, 1998, pp. 90-91), accomplished (at least in part) in "talk-in-interaction" (Schegloff, 1987, p. 207) - and that close linguistic analysis is relevant to Religious Studies inquiries. It also argues that MCA and stance analysis are complementary analytical frameworks for investigating the discursive construal of religious identities. Finally, this thesis suggests that Claresholm residents' "quasi-private" and "semi-public" (Wodak, de Cillia, Reisigl, & Liebhart, 1999, p. 187) talk about religion is partially shaped by the wider discursive context within which it is produced - and, on this basis, it argues for the admission of religious discourses into Canada's "multicultural public realm" (Parekh, 2000, p. 203).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available