Literacy, Identity and Gender: A Case Study of Love Letter Writing Practices from Pakistan


  •  Fatima Zafar Baig    
  •  Naveed Ahmed    

Abstract

This study aims to explore the identity (ies) and ideology (ies) embedded in the love letter writing practices of the people particularly in Pakistan. It brings forth the established social and cultural practices and thoughts of the letter writers from gender perspective. This study investigates the ways in which gender identity is enacted within the language of love letters. Being a significant social literacy practice, the writing of a letter is rooted in a particular social situation. Like all other types of literacy objects and events, the activity advances its meaning and significance from being situated and positioned in cultural beliefs, values, and practices. A case study of the young Pakistani couple has been conducted in this regard where the language used by couple in their love letters is analyzed from ideological perspective. The data are comprised of the love letters which are analyzed qualitatively. Street’s Ideological Model has been employed for qualitative analysis. The research finds out that the ways in which people communicate are constrained by the structures and forces of those social institutions within which they live and function. It also highlights the substantial role of language in the constructions and representations of social and cultural beliefs and values.


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