East Asian Pragmatics, Vol 5, No 1 (2020)

Identity rhetoric in Chinese radio-mediated medical consultation

Zhou-min Yuan
Issued Date: 31 Mar 2020


While previous studies highlight the dynamic feature of identity construction, little attention has been paid to the identity work within the overall structure of a conversation and to the interrelations between different aspects of identity constructed. Drawing on a sizable recording of radio-mediated medical consultations (RMMC), this study aims to explore the various aspects of medical consultants' identities and the dynamic shift among the different aspects. It is found that the consultants construct three prominent aspects of identity, namely, a consultant with medical expertise, a consultant with peer friendships, and a consultant as a sales representative, each manifesting some variability in terms of pragma-linguistic realisations and occurrences in different stages of the overall structure of RMMCs. By intermingling the three aspects and using each at appropriate times, the consultants skilfully direct the conversation to what they want. Thus, they demonstrate what might be termed as identity rhetoric in constructing, performing, and deploying their identities to achieve some communicative needs.

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DOI: 10.1558/eap.39001


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