Innovations and Challenges in Identity Research  book cover
1st Edition

Innovations and Challenges in Identity Research

ISBN 9780367404468
Published December 21, 2021 by Routledge
158 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Innovations and Challenges in Identity Research examines established and emergent issues within identity research.

This innovative book adopts a disciplinary transcendent approach, drawing on a range of social science, humanities and human science disciplines on the way to a detailed consideration of:

  • the history of identity as a construct 
  • the components of a poststructuralist/social constructivist approach to identity
  • the prospect of a Marxist political economy approach to identity
  • the interrelationship between structure and agency and a model of structuring spheres
  • an expanded version of positioning theory
  • the digital universe as the future of identity research.

Leading researcher David Block provides a personal take on this key topic of study in applied linguistics and explains why and how discourse analysis is still a useful means through which we can understand identity today. The book is essential reading for students and academics studying and researching within the area of language and identity.

Table of Contents


1  Revisiting identity: A short, selective history

 2 Key elements in the poststructuralist/social constructivist approach to identity

3 Towards a Marxist approach to identity: From recognition and redistribution debates to a historical materialist view of being in the world

4 From structure and agency to structuring spheres

5 Expanding positioning theory

6 Applying the expanded model of positioning theory: An example

7 Conclusion



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David Block is Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies) (ICREA) Research Professor in Sociolinguistics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He has published books, articles and chapters on a variety of topics, adopting in recent years a Marxist perspective in his analysis of contemporary social phenomena. He is co-editor (with Sarah Khan) of The Secret Life of English-Medium Instruction (Routledge, 2021).