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Applied Linguistics Review

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Language Choice and Researcher’s Stance in a Multilingual Ethnographic Fieldwork

Lídia Gallego-Balsà
Published Online: 2018-04-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0121


In bilingual settings language choice represents one of the main resources individuals have to construct their identities. According to Jaffe (2009), it is also a way in which individuals position themselves towards the languages of the sociolinguistic context. However, in the context of researching multilingual settings, very little attention has been paid to how the researcher’s language choice(s) interact with the participants’ language choices, and how the linguistic features that s/he activates contribute to the construction of the researcher’s identity and her/his stance towards the languages of the sociolinguistic matrix within which the research is embedded. This paper is based in the context of Catalonia and explores how the researcher projects and is ascribed a stance as a consequence of her own linguistic practices. First, it shows that these practices lead to the construction of relationships of (dis)affiliation between the researcher and the participants, which ultimately influence the type of data collected. Second, it suggests that language choice is an essential lens through which to look at the researcher’s positionality in multilingual settings and provide more transparent accounts of multilingual ethnographic research.

Keywords: stance; language choice; Catalonia; ethnography; multilingual fieldwork


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-04-13

This work was supported by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Funder Id: 10.13039/501100003329), (Grant Number: FFI2015-67769-P)

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0121.

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