Chapter

Evaluation of Cultural and Linguistic Practices

Sarah Ernst

in Navigating Multiple Identities

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199732074
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933457 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732074.003.0012
Evaluation of Cultural and Linguistic Practices

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Tying up to a postmodernist notion of identity as fragmented, incongruent, and constructed in the process of narrating (Pavlenko, 2006, pp. 13ff.), this chapter shows how Finnish-German research participants evaluate cultural and linguistic practices of the national spaces of Germany and Finland to construct conflicting bilingual and bicultural identities in a narrative interview. With the help of the analytical framework of Positioning Theory that takes the interactional embedding of the recounted narratives into account, the analysis demonstrates that the constructed identities grow out of the interview talk and are multiple on different interactional levels. On a vertical level, tellers orient both to the local interactional requirements of the interview and to broader discourses of (Finnish-German) bilingualism and biculturalism in the same moment in time. On a horizontal level they make national space relevant in different moments in time and thereby construct partly incommensurate bilingual and bicultural identities.

Keywords: bilingualism; biculturalism; situational identity; narrative; space; positioning theory; narrative interview

Chapter.  9301 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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