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Identity Formation in Ritual Interaction

Identity Formation in Ritual Interaction This paper explores the (co-)construction of identities in ritual interaction, by focusing on the choice of interactional styles. ‘Interactional style’ describes a cluster of similar indexical actions within the interaction “frame” (Goffman, 1974) of a ritual. Ritual is a recurrent interaction type, which puts constraints on the individual’s “freedom” to construct their (and others’) identities, in a somewhat similar way to institutional interactions, which have been broadly studied in the field. However, the constraints posed by ritual interactions are different from institutional, and so by examining identity (co-)construction via interactional style choices in ritual contexts, this paper fills an important knowledge gap. I approach interactional style choices through the notions of “role” and “accountability”, and by placing ritual practices within Goffman’s (1981) participation framework. I use examples of heckling at performing arts events as data. By focusing on interactional style, the paper contributes to the present Special Issue dedicated to interactional styles across cultures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Review of Pragmatics Brill

Identity Formation in Ritual Interaction

International Review of Pragmatics , Volume 7 (2): 278 – Jan 1, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
ISSN
1877-3095
eISSN
1877-3109
DOI
10.1163/18773109-00702006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores the (co-)construction of identities in ritual interaction, by focusing on the choice of interactional styles. ‘Interactional style’ describes a cluster of similar indexical actions within the interaction “frame” (Goffman, 1974) of a ritual. Ritual is a recurrent interaction type, which puts constraints on the individual’s “freedom” to construct their (and others’) identities, in a somewhat similar way to institutional interactions, which have been broadly studied in the field. However, the constraints posed by ritual interactions are different from institutional, and so by examining identity (co-)construction via interactional style choices in ritual contexts, this paper fills an important knowledge gap. I approach interactional style choices through the notions of “role” and “accountability”, and by placing ritual practices within Goffman’s (1981) participation framework. I use examples of heckling at performing arts events as data. By focusing on interactional style, the paper contributes to the present Special Issue dedicated to interactional styles across cultures.

Journal

International Review of PragmaticsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2015

Keywords: interactional style; identity; ritual; role; accountability; participation; Goffman

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