Getting past the gatekeepers : membership and identity in 5-Live's "World Football Phone-in"

Author: Ponton, Douglas
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2011, vol. 37, iss. 1, pp. [113]-124
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
This study explores identity construction in the context of a popular radio programme (5-Live's "World Football Phone-in"), which offers long-term contributors the possibility of achieving membership of a virtual community (Fox 2004) established by the programme, via the award of a "Brazilian shirt name". In particular, it focuses on the discursive strategies involved in gaining entry, especially on interactions involving the principle gatekeepers, and their role in the construction of an acceptable "identity" (Widdicombe 1998). The role of nicknaming (Liao 2006) in constructing and maintaining group boundaries is also highlighted. In general the conclusion is that, although interactions show references to membership "rules", and would-be members are seen to conform to these, a successful application depends on more subtle factors, and especially on the personal whims of the principle gatekeeper.
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