Writing Between the Lines: Personal Journal Writing and Issues of Gender, Identity and Self-Representation

Dr. Nectaria Karagiozis
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This research investigates how young women gain a sense of self through personal journal writing, an experience of personal awareness in relation to their socially constructed identities. The research approaches issues of gender identity and self-representation from the perspectives of young female university students. 19 female university students participate in the study by completing two questionnaires, in-depth interviews and by providing their personal journal texts for content analysis. The focus is on the expressive and interpretive processes of refiguring identity as it occurs in the perceptions of self, mediated by the cultural milieu and shaped in the narrative entries of journal writing. The purpose is to explore: a)young women’s construction of meaning from the context of writing experiences; b)the effects of journal writing as a model that allows the self to experience personal growth and discovery; c)the construction of young women’s gender identity. More specifically, this research aims to investigate how young women use journal writing as a means to understand social pressures and how they cope with conflicting tensions while in the process of identify search.

Investigations of individuals’ engagements with personal journal writing contribute to knowledge about the relations between power, ideologies, desire and identity formation.

Keywords: Gender, Identity, Self-representation, Personal Journal Writing, Cultural Studies, Feminism, Psychoanalysis
Stream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Writing Between the Lines

Dr. Nectaria Karagiozis

Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ref: I06P0284