Talking with abuelo: Styling insider-outsider identities in a multi-cultural family

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2013
Authors
Vidal, Mónica
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Taking an interactional sociolinguistic (IS) approach to discourse analysis, this study explores how multi-cultural and multi-lingual siblings interact with their monolingual grandfather (Abuelo), and how, through these interactions, they negotiate and construct multi-cultural family identities. Using Tannen’s (2007) power and solidarity framework, I analyze four excerpts from a seven hour corpus of naturally occurring face-to-face recorded conversations between my sisters, my grandfather, and myself, from 1984 in Spain to answer the following question: How do speakers style (Coupland, 2007) themselves as legitimate speakers in a multilingual and multi-cultural family? The analysis shows that resistance to Abuelo’s authority was accomplished secretly through ridicule using code-switching, simultaneously managing deference and resistance. Authority was also established among the sisters through hierarchies of translation and interpretation, which provided opportunities for resisting Abuelo’s authority through codeswitching between English and Spanish. The study demonstrates how codeswitching underscores the affiliative and disaffiliative interactional stances for achieving both solidarity and power.
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29 pages
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University of Hawai'I Second Langauge Studies Paper 32(1)
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