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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.30 No.4 pp.99-123

The World Health Organization's Identities in COVID-19 Pandemic Narratives

Dohee Kim
Master student of English Linguistics, Department of English Language and Literature, Yonsei University


During the global health emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, people attend to organizations dedicated to international well-being. This paper aims to identify the construction of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) multiple identities attested in four identity processes: indexicality, local-occasioning, positioning, and dialogism. Identifying the organization’s identities can foster identity processes and help to understand the relationality of identities. Qualitative data from the WHO director-general’s media remarks on COVID-19 were collected and analyzed using a corpus analysis tool, AntConc. The tool allowed an investigation of word frequency, sentence structure patterns, and the use of keywords in sentences. This analysis revealed that the WHO has negotiated and presented several identities in COVID-19 situations. The results suggest that although factors such as audience and situations affect identity change, these negotiated identities are still coherent with the organization’s original identity.




  1. Journal Abbreviation : j. Korea Saf. Manag. Sci.
    Frequency : Published three times annually in April, August and December, including an international issue
    Doi Prefix : 10.14353/sjk.
    Year of Launching : 2013
    Publisher :
    The Sociolinguistic Society of Korea
    Indexed/Tracked/Covered By :

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