Identity Construction in Academic Conference Discussions
Series:Trends in Applied Linguistics [TAL] 14
Aims and Scope
This book explores how academics at conferences co-construct their own and each other’s professional identities. It is based on the detailed sequential analysis of audio recordings of conference discussions in the field of the humanities, the working languages being French and English.
The analyses show that the delegates who actively participate in these interactions, whether as presenters, chairpersons or as members of the audience, carry out a considerable amount of identity work, attributing self and other to various categories of professional identity. The discussion participants co-construct themselves and each other discursively as academics, professionals, experts, junior or senior members of the scientific community; they also orient to this identity work as an important task to be achieved at conferences.
This study provides detailed insights into the fine-grained mechanics of spoken academic discourse. From the perspective of applied research it serves the double purpose of raising experienced researchers’ awareness of their own routines and introducing novices to the discourse practices of academia.