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Discourse, Interaction and Identity


Discourse and interaction are central to social, cultural and institutional processes. Our research examines the way in which identities and relations are produced in language practice, and explores the theoretical, methodological and practical implications. There are four strands of research:
Our work on crossing, stylisation, code-switching and mixed speech looks at people using languages and styles that lie outside their normal repertoire. This has had a major impact on our understanding of how speech is linked to social class, ethnicity and migration, and it also has implications for language change and development.
The research on the construction of diversity and equality in institutions focuses on the ways in which gatekeeping interactions create a ‘linguistic penalty’ for people who aren’t expert in English, particularly in health and workplace settings. In the workplace, major projects on employment interviews have been funded by the Department of Work and Pensions, and the practical educational relevance of this research is emphasised in DVDs on selection interviewing.
Our research on interaction and popular culture examines the ways in which young people draw themes and practices from media sources into everyday talk, how they organise their interactions around media topics and devices, and the implications of all this for education.
Our studies of identity and narrative centre on the ways in which language learner identities are produced through life narratives, and how learner agency is structured in broader social discourses.

Staff contributors

Simon Coffey, Eva Ogiermann, Ben Rampton, Olivia Knapton


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