Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



While recent pragmatic research on identity in discourse mainly focuses on ubiquitous construction of one’s own or others’ identity, inadequate attention has been directed to the frequently occurring deconstruction of self-constructed and other-assigned identities. Drawing on transcripts of recordings of 19 Chinese police officer-mediated interactions, this study examines what, how and why self-constructed and other-assigned identities of police officers are deconstructed. Qualitative analysis of the data shows that Chinese police officers’ self-constructed non-institutional identities were often deconstructed by disputants via negating their contextual appropriateness or their social or institutional rightness, whereas police officers also often deconstructed the institutional identities assigned to them by the disputants via negating the validity of the assigned institutional identity or the institutional relationship. It is argued that the cause of this identity deconstruction phenomenon is rooted in police officers’ identity dilemma arising from social changes regarding police work in China.


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