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Construction of gender identities in the novels by Marija Jurić Zagorka - a critical discourse analysis


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Dremel, Anita. (2014). Construction of gender identities in the novels by Marija Jurić Zagorka - a critical discourse analysis. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Croatian Language and Literature.
(U prilogu: životopis i bibliografija autorice.) [mentor Galić, Branka and Jukić Gregurić, Tatjana].

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Research on the discursive aspect of the social construction of gender identities is influenced by the linguistic turn, which brought a shift in research interests from homemaking, labour market, and violence to language, representation, and identity. The materiality of sociological ideas is thereby not lost from sight, but the stress is put on the fact that the questions of language and representation, and consequently of self-reflexivity, must not be disregarded. The objective is to provide qualitative sociological insights into the discursive aspect of the social construction of gender identities on examples from the popular novels by Marija Jurić Zagorka, the first Croatian woman journalist and the writer of popular novels. This paper applies a critical discourse analysis as both theory and methodology. The analysis accentuates the interdiscursive aspect of constructions of gender and offers a critique of androcentric views of modernization, aiming to present a contribution to sociology of gender, discourse theory and analysis, critique of power relations, and feminist epistemology. The results of the analysis of Zagorka’s place in Croatian cultural history and of gender-constructing discourse in her novels show that the case of Zagorka and her popular literature cannot be adequately grasped from the perspective of the lowbrow/highbrow distinction. Critical denigration on the one hand and wide popularity on the other reveal the oppressiveness of critical labels given to Zagorka and her work and expose the the gendered aspect of the ideological matrix. It is therefore methodologically and epistemologically important to reveal the processes of female cultural production and consumption. The results suggest that the novelistic gender-constructing discourse is an effect of distinctions based on which the discourse of modernization has established itself and that discursively constructed gender identities, canalised through popular culture, influence the production of new meanings and the dialectic of social change by enabling new forms of social action, based on new discursively produced meanings of gender identities. The applied methodology demands constant self-reflexivity, which is exercised throughout.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, identity, discourse, popular culture, Zagorka
Subjects: Slavic languages and literatures > Croatian language and literature
Departments: Department of Croatian Language and Literature
Supervisor: Galić, Branka and Jukić Gregurić, Tatjana
Additional Information: U prilogu: životopis i bibliografija autorice.
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2014 13:30
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014 08:50

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