The construction of self and others: A study of the identity construction in I am Malala


  • Asifa Qasim Department of English Language and Translation Studies, College of Arabic and Social Studies, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Sage Lambert Graham Department of English, The University of Memphis, Tennessee, United States.



Malala, autobiography, gender, identity, Pashtun identity, Pashtun culture, positioning, victim, perpetrator, stigmatized, non-stigmatized, militancy


Autobiographical memoirs incorporate personal experiences of an individual and the cultural structures for recognizing lives and identities. They mediate between actions and point of view of an author to display the identity of self and others. The language of autobiographical narratives situates characters in relation to one another to distinguish between self and other. This study examines the approach adopted by Malala for her identity construction in her autobiography, explicating the ways she maintains or challenges the social customs through these ideologies. It analyses linguistic features employed by Malala for identity construction and ideological distinctions between the victims and the perpetrators, stigmatized and non-stigmatized in her story. Malala appears in her tales as an author with authority, as well as a victim of intolerance and abuse, according to the findings; however, her identity is often fluid and changing through acquiring the roles of victim, figure, and author, and depicting her characters in parallel roles. She positioned characters in her story by making overt and covert contrasts within reported events. Her narrative shows a contentious case of discrimination in which both the victim and the perpetrator are Pashtun Muslims from Pakistan of the same race, religion, and ethnicity.


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How to Cite

Qasim, A., & Graham, S. L. (2021). The construction of self and others: A study of the identity construction in I am Malala. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 5(1), 597–610.



Research Articles | Original Articles | Original Research