Construction Of Social Identity

1003 Words5 Pages
Abstract – the notion of identity is complex in the field of sociolinguistics because it is under-theorized. This paper examines the process of social identity construction through the frequency of communication in L2 among bilingual Bahraini undergraduates at the University of Bahrain, Bahrain. It reveals the difference in social identity between English-major students and non-English major learners of English L2 using the notions of selves, integrative motivation, and language attitudes. Qualitative collection of data and quantitative interviews were conducted for an improved understanding. By following the constructionist theory which suggests that the language one chooses to use is a projection of one’s self, the results of the research…show more content…
Identity is described as “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands the possibilities for the future” (Norton, 2000; 5).Theoretical and empirical work has been done on the intriguing questions of how does an individual select a specific speech repertoire to express a certain identity aspect and how can language in return be considered an essential marker of identity. According to (Eckert 2000:42) “the study of meaning in sociolinguistic variation is a study of the relation between variation and identity” and “the underlying cause of sociolinguistic differences, largely beneath consciousness, is the human instinct to establish and maintain social identity” (Chambers…show more content…
This is due to the fact that a language is not merely a system of communication by which one expresses their thoughts and ideas but it also influences and, to some extent, shapes the way one perceives and thinks of the physical and emotional world within cognitive structures. Identity and Language Identity’s relation to language can be studied from different perspectives. Most of the studies conducted on language and identity are related to the field of SLA. However, researchers such as Labov have implemented the idea of identity in the findings of their sociolinguistic experiments. The two studies mentioned below both examine linguistic variation and indirectly demonstrate how this variation is associated with the identities that the speech communities under investigation would like to exhibit and posses for themselves. Martha’s
Open Document