e-ISSN 2231-8534
ISSN 0128-7702

Home / Regular Issue / JSSH Vol. 21 (S) May. 2013 / JSSH-0738-2012


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

Kesumawati A. Bakar

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 21, Issue S, May 2013

Keywords: Femininity, masculinity, systemic functional linguistics, attitude, social actor categorization

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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 specificverbal 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.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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