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‘Global’ and ‘local’ identities in the discourses of British born Caribbeans

Sebba, Mark and Tate, S. (2002) ‘Global’ and ‘local’ identities in the discourses of British born Caribbeans. International Journal of Bilingualism, 6 (1). pp. 75-89. ISSN 1367-0069

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Abstract

British Caribbeans manifest both a ''global'' and a ''local'' identity through complex language behavior including codeswitching. It is the Creole which most connects ''globally'' - to other speakers of Creole, to the British youth culture which now accepts Creole/patois as an element, and to the world-wide Black music culture. Meanwhile ''English'' for black speakers is more likely to mean a local variety of English, for example, London, Birmingham, or Manchester, which identifies the speaker as a member of the local community. In this paper we start from the viewpoint that ''identities'' are texts of social practice based on the identifications made in interactions between individuals (in this case, conversations). Looking both at the content of discourse (what is said) and the medium used (the language or language variety used in an utterance) we attempt to illustrate how global diasporic discourses of identity are reproduced at the local level. We argue that the ''global'' and ''local'' identities of British Caribbeans manifest and reproduce themselves through everyday discourse, and are constructed through identifications in which the choice of language and the choice of words interact and are both significant.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Bilingualism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 1255
Deposited By: Dr Mark Sebba
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2008 16:54
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 20:20
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1255

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