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”Potato seeking rice”: language, culture, and identity in gay personal ads in Hong Kong

Jones, R. H. ORCID: (2000) ”Potato seeking rice”: language, culture, and identity in gay personal ads in Hong Kong. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 143 (1). ISSN 0165-2516

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1515/ijsl.2000.143.33


This paper examines the relationship between language, culture, and identity in a corpus of gay personal ads collected from two publications in Hong Kong in the three years before the 1997 transition of sovereignty. Gay personal ads are seen äs an "island of discourse," whose marginal nature is reflected in the use of language and in turn reflects issues of marginalization in the larger social context. Using Fairclough's (1992, 1993) three- dimensional model for critical discourse analysis, an attempt is made to uncover the relationship between text structure and issues ofpower/ideology in the society that produces the texts. On the level of text, it was found that structural components, particularly the degree of grammatical elaboration, differ according to the stated race or cultural background of the authors and their targets. On the level of discourse practice, authors were found to appropriate a variety of "voices"from the larger culture arena, the use of which amplifies or limits the participation of particular classes of individuals. Finally, on the level of social practice, the ads were found to reflect and re-create both the racial stereotypes and heterosexist ideology found in the dominant culture.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:58361

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