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How language shapes and is shaped by identity is a key topic within sociolinguistics. An individual's identity is constituted through a variety of different factors, including the social, linguistic, cultural and ethnic contexts. In this book, Philip Riley looks at these issues against the theoretical background of the sociology of knowledge, and ethnolinguistics, asking how we learn who we are and how social identities are negotiated. The idea of 'the foreigner' is central to this account, yet traditional views of the role of being socially 'other' largely neglect the role of language. Riley bridges this gap by examining problematic aspects of multilingual identities, with particular reference to the notions of ‘ethos' and the ‘communicative virtues'.
This engaging analysis of language and social identity will be essential reading for students of sociolinguistics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Introduction - The Historical and Theoretical Background
Part I: The Social Knowledge System
1. Structures and Functions
2. The Social Learning Process: Intersubjectivity
3. 'Culture' as Knowledge: Cultural Markers
Part II: Identity
4. Social Identity: You are what you know
5. Membershipping Practices, Phatic Communion and Greetings
6. Rearing Practices
Part III: 'The Stranger'
8. Compensation Strategies
9. Pragmatic Failure
10. The Bilingual Child and the 'Language Learner'
Part IV: Reconfiguring Identities
11. Globalisation and Verbal Hygiene
12. Ethos and the Communicative Virtues Conclusion