Sociolinguistic Symposium

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i arrangement eller begivenhed - typerOrganisation af og deltagelse i konference

Marta Kirilova - Taler

'I still hate it when people call me love' Negotiating identity in the globalised workplace. (Marta Kirilova and Jo Angouri) The challenges associated with accessing the modern workplace and negotiating the complex system of social relations and work tasks have attracted interest in a number of disciplines but not until recently for workplace discourse analysts. In this paper we draw on data from ongoing research in different workplaces in Europe, notably Denmark and the UK. We discuss formal workplace events, such as business meetings and job interviews, and we also draw on narratives collected through interviews and focus groups. The paper focuses on both group and individual aspects of membership and shows how social norms and language hierarchies influence the way employees negotiate identity and index team membership in interaction. The relationship between role and team membership is also explored. We pay special attention to the negotiation of professional identities for newly recruited employees who operate in an L2 environment. We argue that although ‗fitting in‘ suggests flexibility and mutual adjustment, in L2 gatekeeping contexts it is often related to issues of power and hegemony. Our analysis shows that, particularly, in blue collar entry positions ‗the newcomers are the ones to fit in‘. This underlying ideology projects expectations and pressure to adapt to local social, cultural and linguistic norms. Our paper draws on interactional approaches to identity and culture and discusses Goffman‘s conceptions of stigma and ‗passing‘ (Goffman 1963) as well as Bourdieu‘s habitus (Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992). We understand habitus as contextual, situational, dynamic and emergent in interaction and we focus on the processes of negotiation and perceptions of power (im)balance reported by the participants. We close the paper by showing how employees negotiate different positions in the process of challenging the status quo-often with negative effects on their own working conditions or career progression.


KonferenceSociolinguistic Symposium
AfholdelsesstedUniversidad de Murcia


  • job interviews, multilingualism, workforce mobility

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