1st Edition

Language, Interaction and National Identity Studies in the Social Organisation of National Identity in Talk-in-Interaction

By Stephen Hester, William Housley Copyright 2002

    Contemporary political and public discourse has come alive with the issues and conflicts surrounding questions of national identity. Despite the widespread sociological attention it has drawn as a result, most studies of national identity have been conducted at considerable analytical distance from the lived reality of national identity talk. This collection brings together the work of contemporary researchers, situating the talk and interaction in which national identities are actually expressed and used. The book presents detailed investigations of how persons actually use national identity in their talk, the interactional uses to which such expressions are put, and the interactional consequences of such identity talk. The studies are based on transcribed tape recordings of naturally occurring talk across a variety of different countries and settings, illuminating not only situated national identity talk as a phenomenon in its own right, but also providing empirically grounded research for traditional sociological theorising about issues of integration, devolution and exclusion.

    Contents: Ethnomethodology and national identity: an introduction, Stephen Hester and William Housley; Bringing it all back home: selecting topic, category and location in TV news programmes, Stephen Hester; National identity, categorization and debate, William Housley and Richard Fitzgerald; On dialogical networks: arguments about the migration law in Czech mass media in 1993, JiriíNekvapil and Ivan Leudar; Symbolic power and collective identifications, Jean Widmer; ’Japanese American’ identity and the problem of multiple description: disjunctive versions of the Japanese Exclusion Order, Tim J. Berard; National identity in interaction: the Argentine case, Wolfgang Kesselheim; ’National identity’ as a rhetorical resource, Mark Rapley and Martha Augoustinos; The category ’Moroccan’ in a multi-ethnic class, Tom Koole and Myléne Hanson; Bibliography; Index.


    Stephen Hester, William Housley