Identity construction and self-identification of the protagonist in the film media discourse: Multi-modal linguo-semiotic approach

Marina R. Zheltukhina 1 * , Natalia N. Kislitsyna 2, Tatiana Y. Tameryan 3, Kseniia M. Baranova 4, Olga G. Chupryna 4, Olga V. Sergeeva 5
More Detail
1 Department of English Philology, Volgograd State Socio-Pedagogical University, Volgograd, RUSSIA
2 Department of Foreign Languages, Institute of Philology of the V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Simferopol, RUSSIA
3 Department of Foreign Languages for non-Language Specialties, North Ossetian State University, Vladikavkaz, RUSSIA
4 Department of English Philology, Moscow City University, Moscow, RUSSIA
5 Department of English Philology, Kuban State University, Krasnodar, RUSSIA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 13, Issue 3, Article No: e202323.
OPEN ACCESS   1078 Views   2451 Downloads   Published online: 21 Mar 2023
Download Full Text (PDF)


The article is devoted to identity construction and self-identification of the protagonist in the film media discourse. Many aspects of our life are influenced by modern media, among which feature films play a significant role. The convergence of visual and auditory channels of perception determines the multi-modal nature of the film media discourse, which in turn contributes to the successful dissemination of the ideas embodied on the screen. The main purpose of the paper is to identify special tactics that are used in film media discourse to demonstrate the stages of the protagonist’s self-identification and identity construction. The research is conducted on the basis of films “Chronicle of amorous accidents” and “Courier”. The multi-modal linguo-semiotic approach is interpreted in the work as a set of linguo-semiotic techniques used in order to study the integrative influence on the viewer’s perception process. It implies the consolidation of functions of human first and second signal systems to construct specific meaning and thus to intervene into the viewers’ cognitive activity. The linguo-semiotic analysis of the data obtained in the study has resulted in the development of an innovative and effective model that demonstrates the existence of a coherent merger of the five tactics and three modes in linguo-cultures. The perspective is a contrasting linguo-semiotic study of the communicative behavior of the protagonists in the modern film media discourse with an emphasis on intercultural differences.


Zheltukhina, M. R., Kislitsyna, N. N., Tameryan, T. Y., Baranova, K. M., Chupryna, O. G., & Sergeeva, O. V. (2023). Identity construction and self-identification of the protagonist in the film media discourse: Multi-modal linguo-semiotic approach. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 13(3), e202323.


  • Abramova, I. E., Ananyina, A. V., Sherehova, O. M., & Shishmolina, E. P. (2020). Overcoming barriers in teaching EFL to non-linguistic students. Education and Self Development, 15(2), 10-20.
  • Adler, A. (2009). Understanding human nature: The psychology of personality. Oneworld publications.
  • Alieva, T. (2017). Brexit referendum language means employed in actualization of the opposition “WE–THEY”. Bulletin of the Moscow State Regional University (Linguistics), 3, 8-13.
  • Antaki, C., & Widdicombe, S. (1998). Identities in talk. SAGE.
  • Baker, W. (2015). Culture and identity through English as a lingua franca: Rethinking concepts and goals in intercultural communication. De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Baldry, A., & Paul, J. T. (2006). Multimodal transcription and text analysis. Equinox Publishing Limited.
  • Bamberg, M., De Fina, A., & Schiffrin, D. (2011). Discourse and identity construction. In S. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, & V. Vignoles (Eds.), Handbook of identity theory and research (pp. 177-199). Springer.
  • Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of child development: Six theories of child development (pp. 1-60). JAI Press.
  • Bateman, J. A., & Schmidt, K.-H. (2012). Multimodal film analysis: How films mean. Abingdon.
  • Bateman, J. A., & Wildfeuer, J. (2014). A multimodal discourse theory of visual narrative. Journal of Pragmatics, 74, 180-208.
  • Bednarek, M. (2015). Corpus-assisted multimodal discourse analysis of television and film narratives. In P. Baker, & T. McEnery (Eds.), Corpora and discourse studies (pp. 63-87). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Behtoui, A. (2021). Constructions of self-identification: Children of immigrants in Sweden. Identities, 28(3), 341-360.
  • Bernatskaya, A. A. (2000). To the problem of the text “creolization”: History and modern state. Speech Communication: Bulletin of the Ural State Pedagogical University: Linguistics, 3(11), 104-110.
  • Berzonsky, M. (2011). A social-cognitive perspective on identity construction. In S. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, & V. Vignoles (Eds.), Handbook of identity theory and research (pp. 55-76). Springer.
  • Boeva-Оmelechko, N. B., Zheltukhina, M. R., Ryabko, O. P., Matveeva, G. G., Murugova, E. V., & Zyubina, I. A. (2018). Unusual antonyms: Inter-part-of-speech interaction in English fictional discourse. Space and Culture, India, 6(4), 112-121.
  • Bonsignori, V. (2009). Transcribing film dialogue. From orthographic to prosodic transcription. In M. Freddi, & M. Pavesi (Eds.), Analyzing audiovisual dialogue. Linguistic and translational insights (pp. 187-200). CLUEB.
  • Bonsignori, V. (2016). Analyzing political discourse in film language: A multimodal approach. In V. Bonsignori, & B. C. Camiciottoli (Eds.), Multimodality across communicative settings, discourse domains and genres (pp. 189-211). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Bordia, S., & Bordia, P. (2015). Employees’ willingness to adopt a foreign functional language in multilingual organizations: The role of linguistic identity. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(4), 415-428.
  • Brandt, S. (2004). Gunther Kress & Theo Van Leeuwen, multimodal discourse: The modes and media of contemporary communication. Language in Society, 33(1), 115-118.
  • Bucholtz, M., & Hall, K. (2005). Identity and interaction: A sociocultural linguistic approach. Discourse Studies, 7(4-5), 585-614.
  • Cerulo, K. A. (1997). Identity construction: New issues, new directions. Annual Review of Sociology, 23, 385-409.
  • Chouliaraki, L., & Fairclough, N. (1999). Discourse in late modernity: Rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Chupryna, O. G., Baranova, K. M., & Merculova, M. G. (2018). Fate as a concept in language and culture. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 3, 120-125.
  • Coelho, P. (2004). The manual of the warrior of light [Translated by Margaret Jull Costa). HarperOne.
  • Constantinou, M. (2019). Charlie Hebdo’s controversial cartoons in question: Stances, translational narratives and identity construction from a crosslinguistic perspective. Cyprus Social Semiotics, 29(5), 698-727.
  • Cooley, C. H. (1992). Human nature and the social order. Transaction Publishers.
  • Curry, M., & Lee, R. (2021). Indigenous self-identification across generations: Parent-child links in Australian survey data. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47(17), 1-22.
  • Drager, K. K. (2015). Linguistic variation, identity construction and cognition. Language Science Press.
  • Drummond, T., & Wildfeuer, J. (2020). The multimodal annotation of gender differences in contemporary TV series. In J. Nantke, & F. Schlupkothen (Eds.), Annotations in scholarly editions and research (pp. 35-58). De Gruyter.
  • Dynel, М. (2011). Stranger than fiction? A few methodological notes on linguistic research in filmic discourse. Brno Studies in English, 37(1), 41-61.
  • Freud, S. A. (2013). General introduction to psychoanalysis. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  • Galupo, M. P., Mitchell, R. C., Davis, K. S., & Gonsiorek, J. C. (2015). Sexual minority self-identification: Multiple identities and complexity. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(4), 355-364.
  • Gazizov, R. A., Muryasov, R. Z., Savelyeva, L. A., Zheltukhina, M. R., & Vashetina, O. V. (2020). Uncovering functional potential of particles in Russian, German, English in fiction. XLinguae, 13(2), 114-132.
  • Giacomin, M., & Jordan, C. (2020). Interdependent and independent self-construal. In V. Zeigler-Hill, & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences (pp. 1-7). Springer.
  • Hamilton, A. (2013). The self in question: Memory, the body, and self-consciousness. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Higgins, C. (2011). Identity formation in globalizing contexts: Language learning in the new millennium. De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Hogg, M. A. (2001). A social identity theory of leadership. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5(3), 184-200.
  • Jewitt, C. (2009). The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis. Routledge.
  • Jugert, P., Leszczensky, L., & Pink, S. (2018). The effects of ethnic minority adolescents’ ethnic self-identification on friendship selection. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 28(2), 379-395.
  • Jung, C. G. (1961). Freud & psychoanalysis collected works of C. G. Jung. Princeton University Press.
  • Jung, C. W. (2020). Role of gamers’ communicative ecology on game community involvement and self-identification of gamer. Computers in Human Behavior, 104, 106-164.
  • Kibrik, A. A. (2010). Multimodal linguistics. In Cognitive studies-IV (pp. 134-152). IP RAS.
  • Kislitsyna, N., & Slujbina, A. (2019). Linguo-cognitive features of filmic discourse based on teenagers’ English-language dialogues. Bulletin of Kemerovo State University, 21(2), 513–520.
  • Kjærgaard, A., Morsing, M., & Ravasi, D. (2011). Mediating identity: A study of media influence on organizational identity construction in a celebrity firm. Journal of Management Studies, 48(3), 514-543.
  • Koen, J., van Vianen, A., Klehe, U.-C., & Zikic, J. (2016). ‘A whole new future’: Identity construction among disadvantaged young adults. Career Development International, 21(7), 658-681.
  • Kreidlin, G. E. (2002). Non-verbal semiotics. Body language and natural language. New Literary Review.
  • Kress, G. (2009). What is mode? In C. Jewitt (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis (pp. 54-66). Routledge.
  • Lawless, K. (2014). Constructing the ‘other’: Construction of Russian identity in the discourse of James Bond files. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 9(2), 79-97.
  • Lipnicka, M., & Peciakowski, T. (2021). Religious self-identification and culture–About the role of religiosity in cultural participation. Religions, 12(11), 1028.
  • Lovelock, M. (2017). Catching a catfish: Constructing the “good” social media user in reality television. Television & New Media, 18(3), 203-217.
  • Luyckx, K., Goossens, L., Soenens, B., & García, C. C. (2006). A developmental contextual perspective on identity construction in emerging adulthood: Change dynamics in commitment formation and commitment evaluation. Developmental Psychology, 42(2), 366-380.
  • Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98(2), 224-253.
  • Martin-Rubio, X. (2006). The construction of linguistic identities in officially bilingual contexts. Interlingüística [Interlinguistics], 17, 689-697.
  • Miller, J. (2004). Identity and language use: The politics of speaking ESL in schools. In A. Pavlenko, & A. Blackledge (Eds.), Negotiation of identities in multilingual contexts. Multilingual Matters.
  • Nanyangwe, C. N., Wang, H., & Cui, Z. (2021). Work and innovations: The impact of self-identification on employee bootlegging behavior. Creativity and Innovation Management, 30(4), 713-725.
  • Nurutdinova, A. R., Dmitrieva, E. V., Fazlyeva, Z. K., Salimzyanova, E. S., & Nelyubina, E. A. (2020). Linguo-didactic fundamentals of grammar skills mastering: The structure and stages of the formation of a foreign language grammar skill (English and Chinese). Astra Salvensis, 1, 331-341.
  • Ochs, E. (1993). Constructing social identity: A language socialization perspective. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 26(3), 287-306.
  • Park, Y. (2020). Your pronunciation is really good: The construction of linguistic identities in ELF interactions among multilingual speakers. International Journal of Multilingualism, 19(4), 583-604.
  • Pavlov, I. P. (1951). Full collection of works. Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
  • Protassova, E. Y. (2021). Multilingualism at an early age: Parents’ views and teachers’ reflections. Education and Self Development, 16(1), 93-101.
  • Qazi, H., & Shah, S. (2017). Identity constructions through media discourses: Malala Yousafzai in Pakistani English newspapers. Journalism Studies, 19(2), 1-16.
  • Romanova, T. A. (2015). Personality as an object of scientific and philosophical research. Modern Problems of Science and Education, 1(1), 1.
  • Ronkainen, N., Ryba, T., & Selänne, H. (2019). “She is where I’d want to be in my career”: Youth athletes’ role models and their implications for career and identity construction. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 45, 1-32.
  • Shakhnazarov, K. (1986). Courier.
  • Shiryaeva, T. A., Zheltukhina, M. R., Ebzeeva, Y. N., Gishkaeva, L. N., & Kosova, Y. A. (2022). Gender media political communicative dominance: British Brexit media discussion. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 12(4), e202230.
  • Simpson, B., & Carroll, B. (2008). Re-viewing ‘role’ in processes of identity construction. Organization, 15(1), 29-50.
  • Slay, H. S., Smith, D. A., Khapova, S. N., & Arthur, M. B. (2011). Professional identity construction: Using narrative to understand the negotiation of professional and stigmatized cultural identities. Human Relations, 64(1), 85-107.
  • Smith, G. A., Sciupac, E. P., Gecewicz, C., & Hackett, C. (2018). Comparing the retread and born-again/evangelical self-identification approaches to measuring American Protestantism. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 57(4), 830-847.
  • Stadnik, K. (2015). Language as a memory carrier of perceptually-based knowledge. Selected aspects of imagery in Chaucer’s Knight’s tale and Troilus and Criseyde. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 41(54), 127-141.
  • Sung, C. C. M. (2015). Exploring second language speakers’ linguistic identities in ELF communication: A Hong Kong study. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 4(2), 309-332.
  • Święczkowska, H. (2012). Cognitive functions of language according to G. W. Leibniz. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 28(41), 45-62.
  • Tameryan, T. Y., Popova, T. G., Redkozubova, E. A., Sedliarova, O. M., & Solovyeva, N. S. (2019). Feminine perspective of ethnic business communication. Espacios [Spaces], 40(34), 18-23.
  • Tameryan, T. Y., Zheltukhina, M. R., Slyshkin, G. G., Abakumova, O. B., Volskaya, N. N., & Nikolaeva, A. V. (2018). Metaphor in political media discourse: Mental political leader portrait. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 8(4), 377-384.
  • Tameryan, T. Y., Zyubina, I. A., & Zheltukhina, M. R. (2022). Polycode as a strategic resource of intercultural communication. RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics, 13(3), 750-768.
  • Topa-Bryniarska, D. (2015). Ontological structures in an editorial as a mechanism for the creation of meaning in persuasive press texts. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 42(55), 49-65.
  • Tseng, C. (2009). Cohesion in film and the construction of filmic thematic configuration: A functional perspective [Unpublished PhD thesis]. University of Bremen.
  • Tseng, C., & Bateman, J. A. (2018). Cohesion in comics and graphic novels: An empirical comparative approach to transmedia adaptation in city of glass. Adaptation, 11(2), 122143.
  • Vignoles, V. L., Regalia, C., Manzi, C., Golledge, J., & Scabini, E. (2006). Beyond self-esteem: Influence of multiple motives on identity construction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(2), 308-333.
  • Wajda, A. (1986). Chronicle of amorous accidents.
  • Wildfeuer, J. (2012). Intersemiosis in film: Towards a new organization of semiotic resources in multimodal filmic text. Journal Multimodal Communication, 1(3), 276-304.
  • Wildfeuer, J. (2014). Film discourse interpretation: Towards a new paradigm for multimodal film analysis. Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Wildfeuer, J., Schnell, M. W., & Schulz, C. (2015). Talking about dying and death: On new discursive constructions of a formerly postulated taboo. Discourse & Society, 26(3), 366-390.
  • Wodak, R. E., & Meyer, M. (2015). Methods of critical discourse studies. SAGE.
  • Yang, I., & Bacouel-Jentjens, S. (2019). Identity construction in the workplace: Different reactions of ethnic minority groups to an organizational diversity policy in a French manufacturing company. Organization, 26(3), 410-431.
  • Zaretskaya, A. N. (2012). Features of the implementation of the subtext in film discourse. Chelyabinsk State University.
  • Zheltukhina, M. R., Klushina, N. I., Ponomarenko, E. B., Vasilkova, N. N., & Dzyubenko, A. I. (2017). Modern media influence: Mass culture–mass consciousness–mass communication. XLinguae, 10(4), 96-105.