Book Chapter

A linguistic ethnography of identity: Adopting a heteroglossic frame


Blackledge A & Creese A (2016) A linguistic ethnography of identity: Adopting a heteroglossic frame. In: Preece S (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity. London: Taylor & Francis, pp. 272-288.

Sociolinguistic study of multilingualism has moved away from a view of languages as separate, bounded entities, to a view of communication in which language users employ the linguistic resources at their disposal to achieve their communicative aims as best they can (Jørgensen et al. 2011). Rather than taking the named language as the unit of analysis, Blommaert and Rampton (2011: 1) propose that ‘it is far more productive analytically to focus on the very variable ways in which linguistic features with identifiable social and cultural associations get clustered together whenever people communicate’. Makoni and Pennycook (2007) argue for an understanding of the relationships between what people believe about their language (or other people’s languages), the situated forms of talk they deploy and the material effects – social, economic, environmental – of such views and use. Recently, a number of terms have emerged, as scholars have sought to describe and analyse linguistic practices in which meaning is made using signs flexibly. These include, among others: • Flexible bilingualism (Creese and Blackledge 2010); • Codemeshing (Canagarajah 2011); • Polylingual languaging (Jørgensen 2010; Madsen 2011); • Contemporary urban vernaculars (Rampton 2011); • Metrolingualism (Otsuji and Pennycook 2011); • Translingual practice (Canagarajah 2013); and • Translanguaging (García 2009; Creese and Blackledge 2011; García and Li Wei 2014).

education; language & literature;

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity

Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online12/02/2016
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of publicationLondon