'I am not an Honourable Lady': the construction of national and gendered identities in the National Assembly for Wales.

Shaw, Sylvia (2011) 'I am not an Honourable Lady': the construction of national and gendered identities in the National Assembly for Wales. In: The First Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP) Conference, 23-24 Jun 2011, Cardiff, Wales.

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Abstract

In June 2010 the Secretary of State for Wales made her first statement in the National Assembly for Wales. This paper aims to explore the ways in which participants in this debate construct their national and gendered identities by undertaking a detailed linguistic analysis of ‘out of order’ utterances and responses to them.
Firstly, Conversation Analytic techniques are used to identify the ways in which politicians transgress the formal debate rules governing floor apportionment in order to make their contributions. Secondly, particular discourses relating to the construction of gendered and national identities are identified, both from the debate itself and from the analysis of ethnographic interviews with Assembly Members conducted after the debate. This allows an analysis of the construction of politicians’ gendered and national identities according to their ‘frontstage’ (Goffman 1957) linguistic performance in debates and through the discourse of ‘backstage’ interviews. The backstage can be thought of as the place where facts and other informal actions suppressed in the ‘frontstage’ may appear (Wodak 2009).
The analyses show that politicians routinely transgress the formal debate rules and in doing so construct different aspects of their identities. However, these transgressions are evaluated in complex and contradictory ways by the participants and are related to multiple and competing gendered and national discourses. The paper also contributes to wider debates in Politics concerning the substantive representation of women in political institutions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
Item ID: 9897
Depositing User: Sylvia Shaw
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 11:03
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 14:13
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/9897

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