LINGUIST List 16.1043

Tue Apr 05 2005

Diss: Socioling: Sterling-Deer: 'Liberating Silent ...'

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        1.    Carolyn Sterling-Deer, Liberating Silent Voices: Sociolinguistic Expressions of Identity in Dominican Female Second Language Learners' Online Communication


Message 1: Liberating Silent Voices: Sociolinguistic Expressions of Identity in Dominican Female Second Language Learners' Online Communication

Date: 01-Apr-2005
From: Carolyn Sterling-Deer <CSDEERPTD.net>
Subject: Liberating Silent Voices: Sociolinguistic Expressions of Identity in Dominican Female Second Language Learners' Online Communication


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Institution: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Program: Rhetoric and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Carolyn Dawn Sterling-Deer

Dissertation Title: Liberating Silent Voices: Sociolinguistic Expressions of Identity in Dominican Female Second Language Learners' Online Communication

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (ENG)

Dissertation Director:
Bennett A. Rafoth

Dissertation Abstract:

This is a sociolinguistic study of the expression of identity of Dominican
female second language learners enrolled in a northeastern urban community
college. The technology of computer-mediated communication is used in an
exploration of identity online. Within the context of an online discussion
group for women, the linguistic and social factors of identity are
explored. The online discussion format was created through the use of an
e-Learning software program, Blackboard (Version 5). Participants engaged
in discussion of a variety of topics in the discussion board component of
the site registering their positioning on social issues. Primary in this
examination of identity is the centrality of social issues in a
microlinguistic analysis of English language use in online discussion.

Etienne Wenger's community of practice, which describes identity as
situated in practice through memberships in different communities of
practice, serves as the analytical framework for this study. Wenger's model
of identity claims our reconciliation of membership in various communities
of practice and envisions identity as a unified whole rather than multiple.
An examination of the Dominican females' display of identity online reveals
their primary membership in the Dominican cultural community of practice as
well as their negotiated membership in or affiliation with other cultural
and academic communities of practice.

Within the context of this study, the college-age female second language
learners demonstrate their feminist Dominican Latina identity through the
use of various English pragmatic devices online. Through the free
expression of online communication, the women demonstrate their identity
through negotiated membership in the African American community through the
use of African American Vernacular, their early association with American
culture through participation in American cultural institutions, and their
membership in a broader global Latina community which transcends national
borders. Within the online community of practice the most dominant identity
of this group of female Dominican second language learners is a feminist
identity which disrupts and reconstructs social experience redefining
social perceptions of their identity as women.



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