Kádár, Daniel Z. (2015) Identity formation in ritual action. International Review of Pragmatics, 7 (2). pp. 278-307. ISSN 1877-3095

This paper explores the (co-)construction of identities in ritual interaction, by focusing on the choice of interactional styles. ‘Interactional style’ describes a cluster of similar indexical actions within the interaction “frame” (Goffman, 1974) of a ritual. Ritual is a recurrent interaction type, which puts constraints on the individual’s “freedom” to construct their (and others’) identities, in a somewhat similar way to institutional interactions, which have been broadly studied in the field. However, the constraints posed by ritual interactions are different from institutional, and so by examining identity (co-)construction via interactional style choices in ritual contexts, this paper fills an important knowledge gap. I approach interactional style choices through the notions of “role” and “accountability”, and by placing ritual practices within Goffman’s (1981) participation framework. I use examples of heckling at performing arts events as data. By focusing on interactional style, the paper contributes to the present Special Issue dedicated to interactional styles across cultures.

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