Problematizing Identity : Everyday Struggles in Language, Culture, and Education book cover
1st Edition

Problematizing Identity
Everyday Struggles in Language, Culture, and Education

Edited By

Angel M. Y. Lin

ISBN 9780805853391
Published November 29, 2007 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

This book argues that identity as a term needs to be problematized, not taken for granted – for both the risks and the potential that the concept offers to educators for understanding issues of social inequality and how social inequality is being reproduced, and for exploring possible alternative ways educators can work with identity de/formation processes to seek to break the social reproduction structures mediated through identity fixing and essentialization. It provides some of the meta-language and theoretical, analytical tools to embark on such a practice of making the familiar strange, problematizing the taken-for-granted, and uncovering the linguistic, discursive, and cultural processes that serve to subordinate some people while privileging others.

The chapters are organized around three themes: Identity, Class, and Difference; Gender, Ethnicity, and Education; and Gender, Ethnicity, and Language. The diverse sociocultural contexts in which the data and analyses are situated help to illustrate symbolic struggles and identity politics that are being engaged in by peoples in different cultures, languages, and societies of the world, offering insights from multidisciplinary, trans-cultural, and trans-local perspectives.

By offering a comprehensive integration and clarification/ delineation of the different ways identity has been thought about and used in different theoretical traditions, and discussing the implications of different theoretical senses of "identity" for language educators, this volume will be useful to undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and educators in sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, discourse analysis, sociology, education, gender studies, and cultural and media studies.

Table of Contents


1. The Identity Game and Discursive Struggles of Everyday Life: An Introduction, Angel M. Y. Lin

2. The Problem with Identity, Beverley Skeggs

3. Making Class through Fragmenting Culture, Beverley Skeggs

4. Towards a Disharmonious Pluralism: Discourse Analysis of Official Discourses on Social Diversity, Lena Martinsson and Eva Reimers

5. Being Asian in English: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the American Professoriate, Joseph S. Eng

6. White Women Teachers in Indigenous Classrooms: Ruptures and Discords of Self, Jan Connelly

7. Discourses of Schooling, Constructions of Masculinity, and Boys’ Noncompletion of Secondary School in North Queensland, Australia, Ingrid Harrington

8. Language and Identity in Transgender: Gender Wars and the Thai Kathoey, Sam Winter

9. Gendered Self-Representations: How the World’s Successful Women and Men Speak in Journalistic Interviews, Maya Khemlani-David and Janet Yong

10. The Immigrant Wo(man) and Gendered Access to Second Language Use and Development: The Case of a Vietnamese Couple in the States, Jette G. Hansen Edwards

11. Co-Constructing Prejudiced Talk: Ethnic Stereotyping in Intercultural Communication between Hong Kong Chinese and English-Speaking Westerners, Winnie Cheng

12. Out-Performing Identities, John Nguyet Erni

13. Modernity, Postmodernity, and the Future of "Identity": Implications for Educators, Angel M. Y. Lin

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"...This book is a significant contribution to identity studies in the field, especially in the realm of non-Western scholars agentively finding ways to ourselves through our own perspectives."--Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 2010, 9:1, 87-89