Publication
Title
Between "forwardability" and "authenticity" : writing style as a commercial asset in mediating communication on transnational dating websites
Author
Abstract
This article investigates how discourses on transnational matchmaking sites featuring so-called "Russian brides" are produced behind the online scenes: who participates in the creation of these gendered and ethnicized presentations, how and why? In former Soviet Republics, matchmaking websites are predominantly operated by marriage agencies. These agencies have a significant impact on how women are represented online. The data for this study derive from long-term ethnography in one agency and qualitative inquiry in three other agencies in Russia. The chain of adaptations in self-presentations is analyzed by comparing letters that were originally written by female clients in Russian (a corpus of 2359 anonymized letters) with the English standardized online self-ads composed by agency staff on the basis of these letters. The analytical gaze is shaped by the author's participant observation activities as a "translator" in the case agency and office documents that instruct personnel and clients on what and how to write to an audience of "foreign men". By integrating a corpus-based discourse analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, linguistic adaptations are related to meso-and macro-level contextual variables. This study offers new insights on how language is commodified in daily interaction to comply with standards established by specific sites, and especially with global discourses on femininity and trust in online environments. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of pragmatics: an interdisciplinary quarterly of language studies. - Amsterdam
Publication
Amsterdam : 2017
ISSN
0378-2166
Volume/pages
116 (2017) , p. 91-103
ISI
000404699100008
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Living imagined identities? A longitudinal analysis of the impact of online dating discourse on experienced identities of Russian speaking-Belgian couples
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 02.08.2018
Last edited 20.09.2021
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