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Performing and accounting language and identity: Agency as actors-in-(inter)action-with-tools
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CCD)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2014 (English)In: Theorizing and Analyzing Agency in Second Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Approaches / [ed] P. Deters, Xuesong Gao, E. Miller and G. Vitanova-Haralampiev, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2014, 113-132 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A sociocultural perspective on communication and development recognizes that artifacts and cultural tools, including language, the most significant of tools, (Lantolf, 2000; Perret-Clermont, 2009; Vygotsky, 1962) are in a mediational symbiotic relationship with actors (Säljö, 2012; Wertsch, 1998). A central tenant here is the irreducible actor-tool concert and mediation that frames cognition and agency. Drawing upon a sociocultural ”Mind as Social Action” position (Wertsch, 1998), the empirically framed analysis in this chapter shows that rather than being a dimension of individual actors, motivations or desires, agency has an intertwined situated, distributed nature (Hutchins, 1993; Lave & Wenger, 1991). Here communication is learning and is seen as “appropriating and sharing power, a more or less legitimate behavior not independent of social positions, including gender” (Perret-Clermont 2009:8). In other words, this locally situated (in the here and now) and distributed (across time, space, actors and tools) character of agency is embedded in social action.

Taking these sociocultural views as points of departure, a multi-scaled approach (Bucholtz & Hall, 2005; Hult, 2010; Scollon & Scollon, 2004), informs my analysis of agency in a couple of specific ways here. First, I discuss agency analytically and empirically through the actorstools continuum. Second, I relate it specifically to fields that are conventionally clothed in terms of bi/multilingual and multimodal learning. Finally, the empirical explorations in this chapter highlight the situated and distributed nature of identity-positions and belonging (Antaki & Widdicome, 1998; Krzyzanowaki, 2010; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Näslund, 2013; Rogoff, 1990). My overall aim is to make visible how a theoretically framed analysis of agency and identity can be represented by focusing on multi-scaled empirical data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2014. 113-132 p.
Series
Second language acquisition, 84
Keyword [en]
gender, chaining, languaging, agency, ethnography, violence, communication
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38550ISBN: 9781783092888 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-38550DiVA: diva2:762696
Projects
GTGS, www.oru.se/ccd/gtgs
Available from: 2014-11-12 Created: 2014-11-12 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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