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On Being a Linguist and Doing Linguistics: Negotiating Ideology through Performativity

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Title: On Being a Linguist and Doing Linguistics: Negotiating Ideology through Performativity
Authors: Stebbins, Tonya
Keywords: field linguistics, linguistic theory, language ideology, language development, endangered languages, community language activism
Issue Date: Dec 2012
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Stebbins, Tonya. 2012. On Being a Linguist and Doing Linguistics: Negotiating Ideology through Performativity. Language Documentation & Conservation. Vol. 6: 292-317.
Abstract: In this paper I explore and contrast the multiple positions available to me as a linguist, both
within the academy and in the communities where I do fieldwork. These domains make
quite different demands on me in my professional practice. In my experience, transitioning
between these domains can be challenging, since the assumptions about my identity and
role are divergent and often conflicting. I use the concept of performativity to identify the
different positions I enact and which are attributed to me in each of these roles. I suggest
that rather than seeing a binary division between academia and community, it may be useful
to conceive of our work with communities as occurring in a third space that is shared
by members of the relevant community, but which is distinct from the community per se.
Such a distinction provides space for both linguists and communities to negotiate the extent
to which ideas, methods, and ideologies from one field are expected to infiltrate another.
The advantage of such a model is that it allows everyone involved to recognize and, where
appropriate, engage with the frameworks of others. This facilitates a richer understanding
of the forces at play in language development work and allows competing priorities a place
in the process.
Sponsor: National Foreign Language Resource Center
Pages/Duration: 26
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/4501
ISSN: 1934-5275
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:Volume 06 : Language Documentation & Conservation



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