Volume 8, Issue 7 (2018)                   JCLL 2018, 8(7): 71-89 | Back to browse issues page

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Gholamalizadeh K, Tafakkori Rezaei S, Akbari H. The Nomination and Categorization of Social Actors in “Al”, According To Van Leewen’s Frame work. JCLL. 2018; 8 (7) :71-89
URL: http://journals.modares.ac.ir/article-14-4784-en.html
1- Assistant professor, department of general linguistics, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran
2- 3. Ph.D. student, department of general linguistics, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran
Abstract:   (1068 Views)
Van Leeuwen's socio- semiotic network of social actors (2008), is a framework in Critical Discourse Analysis which helps discourse analysts discover how the social features ,settled in the underlying levels of discourses, are represented on the upper levels. This study tries to explore the way social actors are nominated and categorized in “Al” which is a story about the culture of nomadic people in Iran by Mohammad Bahmanbeigi, a famous Iranian novelist and the winner of the UNESCO’s literacy prize. By social actors we mean every single person that plays a role or occupies a specific position in a given society. Particularly, this study attempts to find answers to the following questions:
1. How does the writer use nomination and categorization to express his own viewpoints about the social actors of Nomadic societies of Iran?
2. Can these nominations and categorizations reflect the nomadic people's viewpoints about social actors at the time of nomadic people's illiteracy?
Adopting Van Leeuwen's model of representing social actors, a lot of researcher have tried to explore the social actors of different political and educational discourses but the innovation of this study is that it tries to change the direction of studies from political discourses to literary ones.  Another point is that most of the studies about the representation of social actors have relied mostly on the frequency of the socio- semantic features for their final discussion and results but this study has focused more on qualitative analysis than just counting the frequency of the socio- semiotic features. Although counting frequencies can reveal significant patterns, it is better not to make great claims for numbers. On the contrary, it is important to realize that frequencies often shift with the stages in the writer’s argument and may not be an overall characteristic of the text (vide. Van Leeuwen, 2008: 31).
 The results of this study show that the representation of social actors in “Al” is purposeful and serves to control the viewpoints of the society. The writer, using the advantages of nomination and categorization, expresses his viewpoints covertly and portrays the oppression of women in nomadic societies. On the one hand, the writer categorizes women generically to demonstrate them as the social actors engaged in common complications and on the other hand, he nominates women specifically and individually to picture them as distinguished and independent persons. Men's appraisements are all positive and represent the nomadic people's opinions about males but the appraisements of women, according to the social norms dominating the text, are changing. Using the advantages of deviation, the writer introduces the main character of the story as a deviant actor involved in opposite activities to challenge social norms and beliefs.
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Article Type: Research Paper | Subject: Discourse Analysis
Received: 2016/09/10 | Accepted: 2017/01/31 | Published: 2018/02/20

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