Appraisal, identity and gendered discourse in toilet graffit : a study in transgressive semiotics
Ferris, Fiona Severiona
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This research is interested in the linguistic choices people use to express and negotiate subjective, inter-subjective and ideological positions through the graffiti within the confines of selected men's and women's toilets on the UWC main campus. The focus is on attitudes, one aspect of appraisal theory. The aim of investigating the attitudes inherent in the toilet graffiti is to obtain an insight into the evaluative discourse of men and women with regard to their emotional, judgmental and evaluative stance in their writings. This form of analysis is on the level of meaning. Differences with regard to the attitudinal content in terms of occurrence (quantitative) and content (qualitative) are investigated. The data shows that 'male' (gender) are implicit when expressing emotions, whereas female is explicit in its expression of emotions. In addition, in terms of the evaluation of emotions, the data indicates that 'females' are insecure in terms of their emotional disposition, whereas males mostly express emotions of unhappiness in the toilet graffiti analysed. Both males and females have a tendency to judge each other with regard to their capacities. In terms of judgement of behaviours and things, males can be said to have interesting and even creative ways of evaluation, which include punctuation, taboo varieties and pictures.