Gender, nationality and identity - A discursive study

K Stapleton, J Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Personal identity requires agentic mediation of overlapping social structures and categories; and further the maintenance of a coherent self across different life contexts. A central means of achieving/maintaining identity is through self-narratives and modes of discursive positioning. In this article, we examine the intersection of two key identity categories, gender and nationality, in the biographical accounts of two female friends (one English and one Irish). Both categories can be seen to structure the speakers' identities as particular types of people, and to interact in mutually defining ways. However, the speakers actively negotiate these structures and constraints to produce specific versions of themselves. While, on occasion, they invoke national (gender) stereotypes in constructing their identities, they both counter-position themselves in relation to gendered expectations within their respective national contexts. Drawing on selected extracts, we examine the discursive strategies through which they construct and maintain such identities across different biographical contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-60
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

British-Psychological-Society Centenary Conference, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, MAR 28-31, 2001


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