Crossing the Great Divide: A Personal Reflection on Language and Identity across Linguistic and Cultural Spaces

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This paper uses an autoethnographic approach to chart the writer’s trajectory across multiple linguistic and cultural spaces in an attempt to identify the impact of both participation and reification and the relative value of linguistic resources on social identity. It draws mainly on the work of Etienne Wenger and Jan Blommaert to define the epistemological perspective, but also refers to other writers in the field of Communities of Practice and Globalisation. It argues that engagement within communities of practice can indeed be an effective agent in the construction of social identity but that actors in social participation must be proactive in seeking out and using or re-appropriating those linguistic resources that are available to them.


Keywords: Autoethnography, Participation, Reification, Communities of Practice
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Crossing the Great Divide


Nina Taylor

Assistant Director Training, Training, Essential Skills Support Unit
Petersfield, Hampshire, UK

I work as an Assistant Director for Training for a Professional Development Centre in Hampshire.As an organsiation we specialise in teacher training on Literacy, Language and Numeracy development. I am also undertaking an Ed D with Sheffield University where my focus is on discourse and practice in Skills for Life.

Ref: D08P0341