Pre-imposition vs. in situ Negotiation of Group and Individual Identities: Spanish and English in US Service Encounters
Keywords:sociolinguistics, identity, essentialism, constructionism, service encounters, code-switching
AbstractThis paper examines the supposed opposition between essentialist or positivist approaches to identity—which categorize group and individual members by a priori properties of sex, race, ethnicity, and native speakerhood—and constructionism, which views such properties as relational and negotiable. Even when categories such as sex, race, ethnicity, and native speakerhood are considered to have been imposed a priori, there nonetheless persists a general recognition that these are at least to some extent social constructs—if not the categories themselves, the ideas we have about them. Using data from previous empirical work in Spanish and English code-choice in US service encounters, this paper argues that 1) the social constructs of ethnicity and native speakerhood can be either preimposed on a given interaction or formed in situ, that 2) that these two processes are not incompatible, and that 3) these practices perhaps even necessitate one another.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).