Positioning theory offers a theoretical and analytical framework to explore how individuals position themselves or are positioned by others through discourse. Positioning theory provides ways to interpret how the positioning is achieved through the mutual effects of storylines, speech acts, and positions (Van Langenhove & Harré 2003). We examine how male and female preachers position themselves when they advise parents about Islamic values in raising children. The sermon data is from a corpus of twenty online Islamic sermons on YouTube that engage with the theme of family. The sermons were delivered in different settings, such as in Friday services in the mosque or Islamic conferences in auditoriums in various countries, namely the USA, UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, and Qatar. The findings show that the preachers put themselves in a position of authority primarily through their expertise in quoting and interpreting authoritative sacred texts. Preachers' positioning is fluid; they position themselves as a person who delivers God's words, as storytellers, or take a more authoritative position by employing direct commands. It is common in Islamic communities for mothers to have responsibility to teach and raise children. In sermons, the preachers tell stories of paragons of Islamic parenting such as Luqman, male Biblical prophets, and stories of Muhammad to inspire fathers to play their role in helping mothers raise children.
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|Published - 5 Sept 2022
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