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Identity in the London Indian diaspora: towards the quantification of qualitative data


Hundt, Marianne; Staicov, Adina (2018). Identity in the London Indian diaspora: towards the quantification of qualitative data. World Englishes, 37:166-184.

Abstract

For second-generation members of a diaspora community, ethnic and cultural affiliation are less straightforward than for the first generation. We compare information on identity construction in London's Indian Diaspora with the participants’ linguistic integration into the host community. Our study is novel and exploratory in that it combines quantitative, variationist methodology with a qualitative approach. We employ two standard sociolinguistic instruments to model subjects’ ethnic identity: a questionnaire and sociolinguistic interviews with a focus on discursive identity construction. In a second step we investigate possible connections between morphosyntactic variation and ethnic identity in language use data from three different communicative contexts. The results show that, while interview data on ethnic identity are amenable to quantification, clear correlations between the resulting identity scores and vernacular morphosyntactic features are difficult to find. In particular, patterns of style-shifting between the different communicative contexts are not as expected.

Abstract

For second-generation members of a diaspora community, ethnic and cultural affiliation are less straightforward than for the first generation. We compare information on identity construction in London's Indian Diaspora with the participants’ linguistic integration into the host community. Our study is novel and exploratory in that it combines quantitative, variationist methodology with a qualitative approach. We employ two standard sociolinguistic instruments to model subjects’ ethnic identity: a questionnaire and sociolinguistic interviews with a focus on discursive identity construction. In a second step we investigate possible connections between morphosyntactic variation and ethnic identity in language use data from three different communicative contexts. The results show that, while interview data on ethnic identity are amenable to quantification, clear correlations between the resulting identity scores and vernacular morphosyntactic features are difficult to find. In particular, patterns of style-shifting between the different communicative contexts are not as expected.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Linguistics
08 Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Anthropology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:27 Aug 2018 13:02
Last Modified:08 Apr 2020 23:54
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0883-2919
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12311

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