Identity in online personal ads

A multimodal investigation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A personal advertisement constitutes a distinct form related to the small ad family of genres. While small ads traditionally offer an object or a service, the personal ad offers but, most essentially, seeks a romantic partner. To date, studies of personal ads have mainly focused on patterns of represented traits in relation to identity, gender, age and sexuality in the verbal text. Given the self-promotional nature of the genre, image is also a powerful tool used as one of the resources for representing identity and engaging with others. Using social semiotic perspective and the framework of systemic functional linguistics, this study focuses on how identity is verbally and visually realised in online personal ads. This paper has two aims: the first is to show how resources from verbal and visual systems combine and complement one another to construe a variety of personal and social traits, clustering into different identity types. The second is to indicate the usefulness of these descriptions in facilitating a multimodal approach to the analysis of identity. The results revealed a convergence of verbal and visual resources in identity performances, construing the slim and attractive woman and the funny but sensitive guy, both aimed at invoking interest from potential partners. Identities emerged through the use of nominal groups and processes and the categorizations associated with these resources. Images that are displayed on the profile pages contain features that correspond to the tendered traits in the verbal description creating a holistic performance of online identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalAsian Social Science
Volume11
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2015

Fingerprint

resources
genre
Ads
semiotics
performance
sexuality
linguistics
Resources
gender
Group
Usefulness
Social Semiotics
Gender Identity
Systemic Functional Linguistics
Nominal Group
Sexuality
Gender identity
Clustering

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Identity
  • Multimodality
  • Personal ads
  • Systemic functional linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Identity in online personal ads : A multimodal investigation. / A. Bakar, Kesumawati.

In: Asian Social Science, Vol. 11, No. 15, 15.05.2015, p. 313-323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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