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December 18 , 2009

Language, Migration, and Identity

Neighborhood Talk in Indonesia


While much scholarship has been devoted to the interplay between language, identity and social relationships, we know less about how this plays out interactionally in diverse transient settings. Based on research in Indonesia, this book examines how talk plays an important role in mediating social relations in two urban spaces where linguistic and cultural diversity is the norm and where distinctions between newcomers and old timers changes regularly. How do people who do not share expectations about how they should behave build new expectations through participating in conversation? Starting from a view of language-society dynamics as enregisterment, Zane Goebel uses interactional sociolinguistics and the ethnography of communication to explore how language is used in this contact setting to build and present identities, expectations and social relations. It will be welcomed by researchers and students working in the fields of linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, the anthropology of migration and Asian studies.

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