Royal sport and social distance: Television interviews with Prince Andrew and Princess AnneJournal: International Journal of Language Studies (Vol.8, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Authors : Douglas Mark PONTON;
Page : 51-74
Keywords : Identity Construction; Interaction; British Royal Family; Social Distance; Social Closeness; Media;
The British royal family has responded to changes in society in recent generations, becoming more accessible to the public through the mass media. The identities of royal family members have become less authoritarian, and their behaviour and speech patterns less formal; they are also more emotionally demonstrative. This is a study of television interviews involving the sporting royals, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne, using a methodology that combines Conversation Analysis with recent approaches to the linguistic construction of identity. The identities of both royals support the hypothesis that changing patterns in society as a whole have indeed led the British royals to develop an identity characterised by social closeness. However, traces of more elitist social attitudes are found in both interviews. It concludes that royal identities oscillate between the preservation of an increasingly threatened private space, and collaboration with media representatives to create an acceptable public image. The collaborative role of media representatives in these processes is also highlighted.
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