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Identity in intercultural interaction: how categories do things

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adam Brandt, Yosuke Ogawa


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Although identity has become a key topic in second language research, it is a problematic notion to research when considered to exist only in the individual’s head. By operationalizing identity as the social display of self in relation to others, discourse analytic approaches such as Conversation Analysis (CA) and Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA) instead locate identity in interaction. Thus, this makes identity observable through the sequential details of talk. This paper (1) introduces the CA/MCA approach to identity as a social accomplishment and then (2) applies it to identity ascriptions in a study abroad context and an online English-speaking practice chat room. The analysis initially focuses on the role of epistemics and how discursive displays of knowledge help accomplish identity. It then goes on to demonstrate some of the ways that participants use identity categories as an interactional resource.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Greer TA, Brandt A, Ogawa Y

Editor(s): R. Chartrand, M. Porter, M. Grogan & G. Brooks

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: JALT Pan-SIG Conference Proceedings: 12th Annual JALT PanSIG Conference

Year of Conference: 2014

Pages: 155-164

ISSN: 9784901352420

Publisher: JALT PanSIG