‘You wanted to know about expat life’: authenticating identity in blogs about transnational relocation

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    Abstract

    Expatriate blogs are personal websites in which individuals share their experiences of relocation and life in a different country, not solely for the benefit of their readers but also for their own benefit. As such, they constitute sites of identity construction in phases of personal transition, afforded by the linear nature of blogging. This paper illustrates how expatriate bloggers discursively authenticate identity. Drawing on tactics of intersubjectivity, the analysis explores twelve personal blogs by Anglophone foreign nationals who have moved to England. Authentication is achieved, firstly, through displaying expertise pertaining to life abroad. This at the same time legitimizes expatriates’ sharing of the everyday experiences, and indeed they portray themselves as providing deep insights and unadorned accounts. Additionally, identity is authenticated through discourses of personal fulfillment. The authentication of expatriate identity is thus closely linked to bloggers’ legitimizing of their own contributions. These findings add to research on discursive identity construction in personal negotiations of relatively privileged migration. They further make a theoretical contribution to the tactics of intersubjectivity as well as more generally to explorations of identity and authentication in online environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)377–397
    JournalText & Talk
    Volume40
    Issue number3
    Early online date11 Feb 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2020

    Keywords

    • authentication
    • expatriates
    • identity construction
    • legitimacy
    • personal experience
    • privileged migration

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