Tropes of Identity in Public Culture

Daniel Lefkowitz

in Words and Stones

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195121902
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788347 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics

 Tropes of Identity in Public Culture

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This chapter discusses the role of public discourse in the conversational negotiation of identity by looking at the ways Israeli identities are represented in the media, and how such representations articulate with social and cultural power. It looks at how media representations of identity are tools of power, constraining the actions of individual Israelis. An in-depth analysis of the shared symbol of the “victim” as it played out in a media drama highlights the powerful role of emotion in media representations of identity. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the sharing of the symbol “Israeliness” and the ways in which media representations of identity constrain individual agency in the negotiation of identities in everyday interaction.

Keywords: public discourse; Israel; identity; negotiations; media; victim; Israelis

Chapter.  16469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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