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Title: The interactional achievement of familyhood in Vietnamese-Taiwanese international families
Authors: Wang, Li-Fen
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: While so many studies relating to Vietnamese female spouses in Taiwan have tapped into crucial issues facilitating understanding of this particular social group, none of them deals with face-to-face interaction between Vietnamese female spouses and their Taiwanese family members. This thesis thus tries to bridge the research gap by studying real-life face-to-face interaction in such transnational families with special attention to identifying the interactional relevance and consequentiality of membership categories invoked by the family members and how Taiwanese and Mandarin are used as interactional resources in familial discourse. This study engaged 3 Vietnamese wives in Taiwan along with 14 Taiwanese family members whose mealtime talks were audio-/video‐recorded. Conversation analysis (CA) and membership categorisation analysis (MCA) were adopted to analyse the 7 hours of data collected. It was found (from the corpus of recordings) that a Vietnamese spouse’s deployment of the membership categories ‘Taiwanese’ and ‘Vietnamese’ relates to her use of first-person plural pronouns to form the (literally translated) ‘we + country’ compound. The compound is found to be a distinctive identity-related device used by the Vietnamese participants to engage in self-categorisation. Moreover, it is also an epistemics-related device used by the Vietanamese spouses to ascribe authority or expertise to themselves or their Taiwanese family members in the enactment of 'Vietnamese' or 'Taiwanese'. On the other hand, it was found that the Vietnamese participants orient to Taiwanese and Mandarin as salient resources in admonishment sequences. Specifically, the two languages serve as contextualisation cues and framing devices in 3 different types of admonishment sequences. It is identified that familyhood can be achieved in an admonishment context, in which language varieties are used by adult family members to facilitate their alignment with each other in educating the youngest generation. The research findings suggest that the Vietnamese female spouses can fabricate interactional resources into devices to actively engage in familial communicative events and fulfil their responsibilities as a family member and as a mother. From the discursive construction of national and household identity categories, the Vietnamese spouses have demonstrated how they manage identity work and position themselves in the family; on the other hand, the way that participants negotiate national identities in family discourse have made salient the transnationality pertaining to the families. The study therefore contributes to enriching the understanding of Vietnamese female spouses in Taiwan from a conversation and membership categorisation analytic perspective, and the research findings serve as a reference point for research on cross-border marriage, cross-border couples and interactional patterns in transnational families.
Description: Phd Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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