The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity

1st Edition

Edited by Siân Preece


618 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

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The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity provides a clear and comprehensive survey of the field of language and identity from an applied linguistics perspective. Authored by specialists from around the world, each chapter introduces a topic in language and identity studies and provides a concise, critical survey in which the importance and relevance to applied linguists is explained.

Thirty-seven chapters are organised into five sections covering:

  • theoretical perspectives informing language and identity studies
  • categories and dimensions of identity
  • key issues for researchers in language and identity studies
  • topical case studies in areas of interest to applied linguistics
  • future directions for language and identity studies in applied linguistics.

With further reading included in each chapter, The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity is an essential reference for all students, teachers and researchers working in the areas of Applied Linguistics, Linguistics, Education and TESOL.


"In an extremely rapidly changing field of scholarship, this collection presents the best of an existing paradigm of research while heralding a new one. This volume should incite everyone to fundamental reflection and a ‘no holds barred’ attitude in fresh research." Jan Blommaert, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

"The key role that language plays in how we are seen by others and how we see ourselves – struggles around identity – has emerged as a major focus of applied linguistics over the last 20 years. This new handbook does a wonderful job of pulling this work together – from its theoretical roots to its contemporary manifestations – into one diverse and readable volume." Alastair Pennycook, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Table of Contents


List of figures

List of tables


Bonny Norton



Introduction: language and identity in applied linguistics

Siân Preece


  1. Part 1
  2. Perspectives on language and identity
  3. 1 Historical perspectives on language and identity

    John E. Joseph

    2 Positioning language and identity: poststructuralist perspectives

    Judith Baxter

    3 Identity in variationist sociolinguistics

    Rob Drummond and Erik Schleef

    4 Ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approaches to identity

    Bethan Benwell and Elizabeth Stokoe

    5 Language and identity in linguistic ethnography

    Miguel Pérez-Milans

    6 Discursive psychology and the production of identity in language practices

    Jean McAvoy

    7 Critical Discourse Analysis and identity

    Karin Zotzmann and John P. O’Regan


  4. Part 2
  5. Categories and dimensions of identity
  6. 8 Language and ethnic identity

    Vally Lytra

    9 Language, race and identity

    Tope Omoniyi

    10 Linguistic practices and transnational identities

    Anna De Fina

    11 Identity in post-colonial contexts

    Priti Sandhu and Christina Higgins

    12 Language and religious identities

    Ana Souza

    13 Language and gender identities

    Lucy Jones

    14 Language and non normative sexual identities

    John Gray

    15 Class in language and identity research

    David Block


  7. Part 3
  8. Researching the language and identity relationship: challenges, issues and puzzles
  9. 16 Ethics in language and identity research

    Anna Kristina Hultgren, Elizabeth J. Erling and Qumrul Hasan Chowdhury

    17 A linguistic ethnography of identity: adopting a heteroglossic frame

    Angela Creese and Adrian Blackledge

    18 The politics of researcher identities: opportunities and challenges in identities research

    Frances Giampapa

    19 Challenges for language and identity researchers in the collection and transcription of spoken interaction

    Eva Duran Eppler and Eva Codó

    20 Beyond the micro-macro interface in language and identity research

    Kristine Horner and John Bellamy


  10. Part 4
  11. Language and identity case studies
  12. 21 Constructing age identity: the case of Mexican EFL learners

    Patricia Andrew

    22 The significance of sexual identity to language learning and teaching

    Cynthia D. Nelson

    23 An identity transformation? Social class, language prejudice and the erasure of multilingual capital in higher education

    Siân Preece

    24 Being a language teacher in the content classroom: teacher identity and content and language integrated learning (CLIL)

    Tom Morton

    25 Disability identities and category work in institutional practices: the case of a ‘typical ADHD girl’

    Eva Hjörne and Ann-Carita Evaldsson

    26 ‘Comes with the territory’: expert-novice and insider-outsider identities in police interviews

    Frances Rock

    27 Language, gender and identities in political life: a case study from Malaysia

    Louise Mullany and Melissa Yoong

    28 Straight acting: discursive negotiations of a homomasculine identity

    Tommaso M. Milani

    29 Styling and identity in a second language

    Ben Rampton

    30 Construction of heritage language and cultural identities: a case study of two young British-Bangladeshis in London

    Qumrul Hasan Chowdhury

    31 Minority languages and group identity: Scottish Gaelic in the Old World and the New

    John Edwards


  13. Part 5
  14. Future directions

32 Intersectionality in language and identity research

David Block and Victor Corona

33 Language and identity in the digital age

Ron Darvin

34 Language and identity research in online environments: a multimodal ethnographic perspective

Myrrh Domingo

35 Exploring neoliberal language, discourses and identities

Christian W. Chun

36 The future of identity research: impact and new developments in sociolinguistics

Bettina Beinhoff and Sebastian M. Rasinger

37 Identity in language learning and teaching: research agendas for the future

Peter de Costa and Bonny Norton


About the Editor

Advisory board: David Block (Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats/Universitat de Lleida, Spain), John E. Joseph (University of Edinburgh, UK) and Bonny Norton (University of British Columbia, Canada).

Siân Preece is Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at UCL Institute of Education. She is author of Posh Talk: Language and Identity in Higher Education (2009) and co-author of Language, Society and Power, 3rd end (2011).

About the Series

Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics

Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics provide comprehensive overviews of the key topics in applied linguistics. All entries for the handbooks are specially commissioned and written by leading scholars in the field. Clear, accessible and carefully edited Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics are the ideal resource for both advanced undergraduates and postgraduate students.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General