Author: Choi, Takming Andrew
Title: Discursive construction of blended identity by coaching professionals on the internet
Advisors: Wu, Doreen (CBS)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2021
Subject: Discourse analysis, Narrative
Employees -- Coaching of
Branding (Marketing)
Internet marketing
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: 223 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The study attempts to fill in the research gap of language use in constructing blended identity for personal branding in the context of highly attention-seeking and commercialized promotional online setting of human-focused professions. It is postulated that the coaching professionals utilize Personal Home Pages to project an image representational of their professional competence as well as personal attributes and that such image construction represents a kind of blended identity comprised of competence-based and relationship-oriented continuum. Narrative analysis is set as framework of reference for the present study to examine the narrative structure and themes of the data collected from Personal Home Pages of 51 coaching professionals, with sixty percent of the subjects being female. The instrumental-expressive orientation of blended identity construction is investigated via keyword analysis and move structure analysis. Furthermore, the study examines whether gender is a contributing factor in the process of blended identity construction by the professionals with reference to keyword and textual analysis. Keywords and commonly adopted move steps indicate that blended identity construction is a social practice where presenters collectively adopt social expectations and professional standards in self-presentation. The instrumental-expressive orientation of blended identity construction is found to be established through keyword analysis. It is also found that the instrumental-expressive orientation operates not separately but in continuum.
The construction of blended identity is also found to be staged by phases through realization of communicative intents situated in the move structure. It is a merged concept of personal and professional life for multiple communicative purposes, not merely in two distinctively separated personal and professional segments of stories but in continuum moves. Nonetheless, it is found that gender difference in blended identity construction has become less distinguishable in this non-traditional, service oriented professions where relationship and emotional bonding have become increasingly relevant to practitioners of both genders. The study concludes that blended identity is a social practice where professional requirements and social expectations are relevant but non-restrictive in establishing professional image and build client relationship. Hence, blended identity is not a static, restrictively structured entity based on either professional requirements or social expectations, but is interactive with viewers, open for construction and interpretation. The study has demonstrated another example of integrating language sciences for research and practical applications in professional communication. It warrants special significance in validating the link between single word meanings to communicative intents along the instrumental-expressive continuum. Besides, the study demonstrates that a theme-focused structural approach is applicable to identify the components of identity construction and its distributional patterns.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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