"A simple gal here, longing for loving, mutual understanding and stable relationship": Gendered performances in online personal advertisements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examines the representations of femininity and masculinity in the discourse of 200 online personal advertisements by Malaysian men and women. Using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, this study investigates the ways in which identity is gendered in the personals - how male and female identities, via nominal group and clauses, may be associated with certain behavioural traits, emotions and social activities - and to demonstrate identity variations that are construed by these categorizations. Nominal group and clause (Halliday, 1994) form my points of entry and patterns are semantically classified according to attitude (Martin & White, 2005) and Social Actor categorization (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Advertisers appear to orient to what is expected in the context of courtship initiation in this particular genre, and are found to produce socially specific verbal practices that correspond to stereotypical constructions of gender identity. More significant, however, is the construal of an identity type that is specifically Malaysian - i.e. The simple person.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-250
Number of pages16
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume21
Issue numberSUPPL
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

performance
social actor
femininity
masculinity
genre
emotion
Group
Longing
human being
discourse
gender
methodology
Clause
Nominal Group
Courtship
Discourse
Gender Identity
Qualitative Methodology
Masculinity
Person

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Femininity
  • Masculinity
  • Social actor categorization
  • Systemic functional linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "This study examines the representations of femininity and masculinity in the discourse of 200 online personal advertisements by Malaysian men and women. Using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, this study investigates the ways in which identity is gendered in the personals - how male and female identities, via nominal group and clauses, may be associated with certain behavioural traits, emotions and social activities - and to demonstrate identity variations that are construed by these categorizations. Nominal group and clause (Halliday, 1994) form my points of entry and patterns are semantically classified according to attitude (Martin & White, 2005) and Social Actor categorization (Van Leeuwen, 2008). Advertisers appear to orient to what is expected in the context of courtship initiation in this particular genre, and are found to produce socially specific verbal practices that correspond to stereotypical constructions of gender identity. More significant, however, is the construal of an identity type that is specifically Malaysian - i.e. The simple person.",
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