Power and prejudice: Their effects on the co-construction of linguistic and national identities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article addresses how different types of, and differences in, power affect the micro-processes of face-to-face interaction as they contribute to the dynamic co-construction of identity of the interactants. The specific focus will be on linguistic and national identity when a French L1 speaker who is bilingual in American English and lives in the United States interacts with French speakers in France. Based on an authentic conversation, it will be shown that this speaker at first is proud of being bilingual and binational but then evidences ambivalence about and lack of confidence in his two languages when confronted by a native speaker with greater symbolic power who challenges his abilities in French and who is prejudiced against English and the United States. It is concluded that we must take into account the issue of symbolic power when studying those who are at the boundaries of linguistic and national identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-130
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Inquiry in Language Studies
Volume7
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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