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Broadcasting the royal role: Constructing culturally situated identities in the Princess Diana Panorama interview.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2001
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Journal number3
Volume40
Number of pages19
Pages417-435
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We examine cr itic ally the two traditions of work that have informed discursive approaches to identity : social constructionism and conversation analysis . Within both strands, identity is theorized as a � exible phenomenon that is situated in conversations. But although constructionists locate identity within the social, such work remains at a theoretical and rather abstract level and often fails to interrogate the discursive practices through which identity is constituted. Conver sely, this attention to the occasioning of identity in everyday talk is precisely the focus of the second, conver sation analy tic strand of work. Whereas constructionis ts attend to the wider cultural positioning of identities , conver sation analysts resist commenting upon the social signi� cance of what is constructed in interaction. Conversation analy sis is therefore limited by its restricted notion of culture in the study of the situated social self. Despite the apparent con� ict between these approaches , we suggest that a synthes is of the two provides a comprehensive framework for analysing identity . Drawing upon the BBC Panorama interview between Martin Bashir and Princess Diana, we explore how culturally situated identities are located in this conversational context. We conclude that analysts must not only attend to the micro-level organization of identities but also engage in a wider unde rstanding of the cultural framework within which they are located.