The indicators of the current state as the typical contexts of gender construction

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №8 - 2016

Author: Hkraban Tatyana, Kiev Military Lyceum n.a. Ivan Bohun, Ukraine

Nowadays, use of the Internet as a new communication space stands an important place in people’s lives, and the role of this sector in the process of communication tends to increase steadily. The invention and spreading of computer technology deeply affect the progress of information exchange, a variety of linguistic material in the Internet, people’s attitude to the information. Besides the web-pages that can be found in Internet, emails, users’ messages, text Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Messaging Service) messages, posts are stored here in chat rooms, blogs, virtual worlds. There is a growing number of linguistic information on the social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Bebo, Badoo, My World etc. Every genre has different communication objectives, strategies and orientation. The transformation of the communication process structure in accordance with the technical features of the organization of virtual communication space causes a natural change of language means. The new trend in modern applied linguistics – Internet Linguistics – has been developed and it demands careful study in the current situation of modern language.

Topicality of article is defined by interest in the study of language functioning in cyberspace. N. Ahrenova defines Internet Linguistics as “the direction in linguistics that studies the functioning and development of natural human language in the global Internet space, studies a virtual linguistic individual’s linguistic behavior in the course of communication that is realized by means of natural language in the electronic (digital) environment”. In addition, the scientist notes that the subject of Internet Linguistics study has been assigned. It is Internet communication that is considered as “communicative interaction in a global computer Internet network accomplishing by users with different level of culture and education, notably it is the language functioning in the Internet space and the linguistic component of Internet communication. Today the most urgent problem is the description of any branch of linguistics with assistance of the cognitive school’s achievements” [1, p. 25].

The extent of the scientific study of problem. Gender studies stand increasingly prominent place in many areas of the humanities. In book “Language Revolution” English linguist D. Crystal points out that one of the factors that has caused revolutionary changes in language, is the creation of the Internet [2, p. 64]. “Therefore, nowadays it is essential to study thoroughly all electronic linguistic communication’s aspects including from the standpoint of gender analysis” [3, p. 12]. So gender aspects of Internet users’ activities are the great interest for linguistics. E. Goroshcko considers that the impact of “gender component” in the online space occurs in two ways: “On the one hand, gender influences the social processes being implemented in the network and changes their characteristic, on the other hand, the intensification of society internationalization and information impacts gender as social construct. Someway it changes the structure of gender relations at first on the Internet and then in daily lives” [3, p. 13].

The object of study is the indicators of the current state considered as a special genre of Internet communication.

Subject of study is gender presentation of information in the indicators of the current state (status) from the standpoint of identification the specificity of language representation of communicant’s purpose in the context of the interaction between pragmatic and conceptual spheres of human activity.

The material of study is 260 status placed in English-language social network (Facebook) and extracted by the means of continuous sampling method.

Basic material. The social network as a service oriented towards users’ Internet-mediated interpersonal communication that forms strong social bonds, has a special place in the virtual communication system. Social networks serve for the construction, reflection and organization of social relations and differ in growing popularity and involvement of people with various age and social status. They are “program services, platform for interaction between people in a group or groups. Social network is an interactive, multiuser website whose content is filled by the members of the network. Site is an automatic social environment that enables a group of users to be united by a common interest in communication” [4. p. 279].

Social networks are an open creative space generating new language forms and speech innovations for communication mediated by the Internet, and the modification of communication strategies and tactics of language person behavior occurs within it. It determines changes in the functioning of the units of the language system, the ratio between oral and written forms of speech, the emergence of new speech genres.

As opposed to the specialized and private forums or blogs, the social networks provide copious material for research that is very representative slice of modern communication sphere and provides a unique opportunity to compose an integrated verbal portrait of Internet user. As one of the leading forms of communication on the Internet, social networks are deprived of anonymity; on the contrary, communication in social networks is communication with a certain person that is a close friend, relative and acquaintance. Therefore, material of communication on social networks can significantly supplement the existing text expression and perception of the gender component. It is unreal to perform on basis of blogs material since there are no clear criteria to ascertain the sex of the author of a universal text, and so it is impossible to define his/her gender role entirely correctly.

Following the definition offered by E. Gritsenko, the linguistic construction of gender is considered in the study as “cognitive activity with implicative inferential character. It is based on the correlation of linguistic forms/signals with gender notions (associations, stereotypes, ideals etc) that are the part of the universe of cultural representatives’ common meanings. Language plays a double role in this process, namely: the unconscious background that fixes gender stereotypes, ideals and values, and instrument that enables to (re)product gender meanings in social practice” [5].

The purpose of this article is to describe the indicators of the current state (status) on the social network in a light of the language functions. Status is a terse virtual public message on the social networks that functions as brief “title” denoting information regarded as important by user and that can be viewed and commented by anyone or a small group of individuals chosen by the user. Statuses reflect user’s social cultural values and along with the social networks associate’s commentaries, form the cultural and pragmatic potential of the social network texts in general.

This study deals with the communicative functions of language. There are several classifications of communicative functions. A significant part of scientists marks out the functions which are related to the exchange of information, interaction and perception of other people.

V. Panferov observes six functions of language:

1. Communication function. In the course of communication people interaction at the individual group and social level is carried out by means of this function. Communication function also serves for social integration of people in various forms of communities.

2. Information function. In the course of communication the practical experience of people is accumulated and information is handed over from one person to another. Information function realizes in unity with the communication one. According to the objectives, the information can be generally divided into informative, regulatory and emotional.

3. Cognitive function. Cognitive functions manifests in cognitive process. This function realizes more fully when there is mutual understanding between participants of communication. In general, relationships that are established between people depend on the content mutual interpretation. Cognitive function associates with emotive one.

4. Emotive function. Emotional relationships define the psychological background of interaction, delight or sorrow, they are the highest value, purpose and meaning of life for many people.

5. Connotative function. Coordination of partners’ interaction in communication is executed by means of the interchange with thoughts and feelings.

6. Creative (conative) functions. They focus upon the people transformation in the communication process, upon change and education of the person. This purpose is realized by special mechanisms of mental activity that contribute to the partners’ mutual influence. These mechanisms include: imitation, emotional contagion, suggestion, persuasion. The changes in attitudes, behavior and personality qualities result from them [6, p. 368-369].

In consequence of diversity of the social network users, communicative purposes are quite manifold. The analysis of the social network users’ statuses has revealed the language functions performing by these statuses, as well as communication intentions implemented by users, namely:

1. Pragmatic function (the formulation of communication purposes and communicant’s illocutionary intentions). The purpose of this function is mutual understanding and coordination in cooperative activity; it provides regulation the behavior and activities of participants in communication, coordination their interaction. Examples:

– male: people are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

– female: a relationship is kept strong by arguments or torn apart by them. The choice is not to forgive afterwards, but to move on; life is too short to waste your time trying to get people to like, love or care for you. If they can’t love you for you, then it’s their loss; sometimes you have to be strong for yourself. You have to know that you’re good person and a good friend. What’s meant to be will end up good and what’s not – won’t. Love is worth fighting for sometimes you can’t be the one fighting. At times, people need to fight for you. If they don’t, you just have to move on and realize what you gave them was more than they were willing to give you. Hopefully, people realize great things when they come around and don’t lose something real. Always fight, until you can’t anymore, and then be fought for; sometimes the only thing people see is what you did when in fact they should be looking at why you did it.!!; I don’t expect much, but I do expect people to follow through on their word. Don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping; Sometimes, the walls we build up around us aren’t necessarily there to keep people out, but to see who cares enough and who’s worthy enough to break them down;

2. Cognitive-pragmatic function. The purpose of this function is self-presentation, image-making, formulation stand in life. Examples:

– male: has been looking for something to do all night, but somehow always ends up right back on Facebook with nothing to do but refresh the page for new posts; everything you do, do out of sincerity, or the benefit of the action is lost; sometimes I find the anticipation of a feeling, or the idea of a feeling, more appealing than the feeling itself. This seems odd to me; standing alone doesn’t mean I am alone. It means I’m strong enough to handle things all by myself; Is dropping the fake smile and laugh, no I’m not okay and no I don’t want to do anything about it I am perfectly happy with being alone unhappy and imperfect; It’s not that I didn’t matter to you...it’s that I didn't matter enough – and now it doesn’t matter to me; I can forgive at a certain point. I can forget at a certain point. but I still have to let go... at a certain point; I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday; I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. It gives them an opportunity to discover who they are and to figure out why they are always alone;

– female: I have a therapist. Her name is music; I am not spending another day doing something that doesn’t make me happy or changing in a way that doesn’t make me a better person. I will live my life to the fullest as God intended; I am powerful! Whatever I set my mind on having, I will have. Whatever I decide to be, I will be. The evidence is all around me. The power of my Will has brought me precisely to where I am right now. I have made the choices. I have held the thoughts. I have taken the actions to create my current reality. And I have the power to change it into whatever I want it to be. With the choices I make, I am constantly fulfilling the vision I have for my life. If that does not seem to be the case – then I am deceiving myself about what I really want. Because what I really, truly want, I will get! What I truly wanted in the past, I already have. If I want to build a billion-dollar business, I will take the actions necessary to do it. If I want to sit comfortably watching TV night after night – I will take the actions necessary for that. Don’t be disappointed in my results – they’re just the outward manifestation of my priorities. I will be sure of what I truly want, because I am sure to get it.

3. Expressive function. Its purpose is to change own emotional experience and to urge the partner towards suitable emotional state. Examples:

– male: we are the World!; Don’t be fooled by social media. Those with hundreds of friends may be lonely in reality & the reverse could be true. Get a real life; Make this as one of your resolution for this year!!! Life is not about making others happy. Life is about sharing your happiness with others; Do not wait for extraordinary opportunities!! Seize common occasions and make them great!! Weak person wait for opportunities, strong make them!!

– female: Sometimes we make someone else our priority than those who really deserves it!; A sweeter smile, a brighter day, hope everything turns out great for you today!!; so many thing to do but don’t have a lot of time in the day why do we only get 24 hours??; Don’t believe what they say! It exists! I’ve seen it! The bottom of the washing basket is a truly beautiful sight to behold!; I am going to clean today, I am going to clean today. Maybe if I say it enough I will believe it! Lol!; why are all cleaning products named things like... Mr sheen, Mr muscle, Henry, when its the women who do the cleaning??; Yes!! I know you are special!!

4. Information function. Its purpose is messaging. Messaging by using means of communication is the process of communication itself. Examples:

– male: information is just bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together. Wisdom is transcending them; most of our problems are because we act without thinking or we keep thinking without acting; at some point there will be more dead people with accounts still open on Facebook than people who are alive; the most important thing about travelling is that you learn about yourself; your life improves only by the amount ‘You improve others’ lives’; No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is; I think the scariest thing in this world is you never know someone’s true intentions with you; Sometimes its not the strength but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells; the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams; sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness; life is too short to keep your feelings inside; the difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction;

– female: a relationship is kept strong by arguments or torn apart by them. The choice is not to forgive afterwards, but to move on; listening to the rain on your window, in the darkest night, when you’re tucked up in bed, in the candle light...this is what life’s about; The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are. The second greatest is being happy with what you find !!; Life is too short to waste your time trying to get people to like, love or care for you. If they can’t love you for you, then it’s their loss; Without pressure and heat there would be no diamonds. It’s how you cope with life’s difficult situations that determine how bright you shine; the more you realize that life is a struggle, the less you’ll struggle in life; whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say about you and that’s life; life is an option until you make it your highest priority.

5. The influential function. Its purpose is to change the partner’s state, behavior, consciousness. Examples:

– male: smile now .. cry never ...; if you don't do it, someone else will; Thank God for your life tonight. For your health, your family, or your home. Many people don’t have these things; if you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world; the moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win; it’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better; whatever makes you mad, leave it. Whatever makes you smile, keep it; remember, you are constantly in the act of creating yourself. You are in every moment deciding who and what you are; don’t let someone else's opinion of you become your reality; don’t say “I can’t because I’m weak”. Say “I may be weak, but I’m strong with God”; be good to people for no reason; pray more, worry less; never let your fear decide your future; TODAY will never come again... Be a blessing. Be a friend. TAKE TIME TO CARE;

– female: Focus your mind on the things that are beautiful. Life is too short to be wasted on worries. Think of the solution and not of the problem. And remain good even if others are not. Smile!; When you want to enjoy life, think today as your life’s First day. When you want to achieve something in life, think today as your life’s Last day; remember: LIFE is so full of drama, secrets, and lies... So when you get screwed over, don't act surprised; I have learned that the ones that say they will always stay in touch, don’t. The ones that say they are busy and will call you back, seldom do. The ones that say they will always be there, are usually gone. The one person you can always count on is yourself. So believe in yourself, keep your head held high and your dreams in your sight. It’s up to you what you make out of life.

6. The function of establishing relations. Its purpose is to ascertain and establish proper place in the system of social relations; to define requirements for communication partners, to block unwanted contacts. Examples:

– male: What about some of the sad useless bastards who seem to plague my life? They wake up every morning but don't seem to have a life of their own so they keep interfering in mine!!; finger on the trigger; says ; I really need to have a lot more of those nights they can barely remember, with people they will never forget ... and soon DAMN IT!!; People ask me how I get through my day so Care Free, dealing with so many Assholes?? I tell them I’m G.H.E.T.T.O – Get High Everyday To Tolerate Others!; we all wish we could always be happy, healthy and in harmony! But the real life situations make it such a daunting task! Those who are closest to you, they always have something to pick on you about and disturb the quiet of your mind; love is giving someone the power to destroy you... but trusting them not to; grant others the same Rights and Respect that you expect from them; how beautiful to find a heart that loves you, without asking you for anything, but to be okay; You might not need me today...maybe not tomorrow...and maybe not ever, but if ever you feel sad and alone, remember I’m here for you, my friends; every time I look around I see people that have someone to hold and love and then I think to myself will I ever have someone for me to love and to hold; Know me without Fear. Trust me without Wondering. Love me without Restrictions. Want me without Demand. Accept me for who I am!;

– female: you know you have a good man, when they looks at you with stars in their eyes and sees how beautiful you are, even when your a hot mess and now you look like crap!; wanted: Real Man! Must have job, license, car, own place and knows how to treat a woman; If this is you, leave your name, number and a picture; Don’t let others define you for who you are. Dare to be different. Embrace it. Being different is part of life. So live it; take responsibility for your actions, for your choices because no matter who you blame, your the one who has to live them; I learned not to trust everyone I call my friend ever since I gave my best friends a second chance. I learned you don’t always get what you want when I expected something precious from my parents for my birthday. I learned that not everything is true when my parents told me they were not getting separated. I learned that love is not always true when I told her that I loved her and she stays quiet and turns away, and people don’t always mean it. I learned that life is not about the mistakes that you make, but about the number of times you tried to correct them. I learned that falling in love isn’t the hardest thing to do, but finding the right person is. I learned that a friend is easy to make, but trusting one is not. I learned to do everything I can to make a difference, no matter how insignificant it is to the world, because I know that I did something.

Conclusions. Thus, the indicators of the current state execute the following functions: pragmatic, cognitive-pragmatic, expressive, informational, influential, function of establishing relations. The ratio of number of statuses from the aspect of functions performed in them is:

– male statuses – 5% 7% 6% 43% 7% 32%;

– female statuses – 8% 12% 6% 52% 13% 9%.

Responses were summarized in the Table 1:

The language functions executed by indicators of the current state and communicative intentions that are realized by users of social networks with the help of status.

The language functions

Communicative intentions that are realized by users of social networks with the help of status

Ratio (%)

male

female

1. Pragmatic

mutual understanding and coordination in cooperative activity; it allows of regulation the behavior and activities of participants in communication, coordination their interaction

5

6

2. Cognitive-pragmatic

self-presentation, image-making, formulation stand in life

7

12

3. Expressive

to change own emotional experience and to urge the partner towards suitable emotional state

6

9

4. Information

messaging (interchange of information,

opinions, solutions, intentions,

emotional state etc)

43

52

5. Influential

to change the partner’s state, behavior,

consciousness

32

12

6. The function of establishing relations

to ascertain and establish proper place in the system of social relations; to define requirements for communication partners, to block unwanted contacts

7

9

The research results have demonstrated that the most important objectives of women as social networking users are “to provide information”, “to share an interesting reference or quote”, “to describe the situation, the current state of things”. These purposes are realized by the means of an information language function performing by statuses. They orient the recipient in the world of events and people, and contribute to the creation of cognitive structure of beliefs values and attitudes. Men’s priorities are to stimulate communication partner’s activity that urges to perform certain actions. These purposes are realized by the means of the influential language function.

Actualization of consideration for the communication partner’s cognitive side that reveals in women’s statuses should also be noted. This manifests itself mainly in the cognitive-pragmatic and expressive language functions. It is necessary to prevent possible misunderstanding and serves to accurate information if the author puts in the forefront not only the ability to think but to empathize. In this case, the author strives to find in a prospective partner for the communication someone with a similar opinion about the situation. Increased expressiveness rejects possible indifference to the perception of the problem.

REFERENCES

1. Ahrenova N. Theory of Internet linguistics // Philology. Problems of theory and practice. –№ 10 (28). – 2013. – P. 22-26.

2. Crystal D. Language and the Internet. – Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. – 304 p.

3. Goroshko E. Electronic communication (gender analysis) // Communication, linguistic consciousness and intercultural communication. Linguistic Institute. – M: Labyrinth, 2005. – P. 12-15.

4. Bitkov L.A. Practical use of social media by specialists in PR // Media and journalism in a new reality. – Yekaterinburg, 2011. – P. 279-283

5. Gritsenko E. Language as a means of gender constructing: abstract. – Tambov, 2005. – 48 c.

6. Panferov V.N. Classification of functions of the person as the subject of communication // Social psychology in the works of local psychologists: a reader / comp. A.L. Sventsitsky. SPb.: Peter, 2000, – P. 362-376.



Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №8 - 2016

  
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