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Agency, agents and artifacts: Performing and accounting for languaging and identity
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CCD)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This contribution has a threefold interest: first, to make visible the active work that participants and institutions “do” with symbols and artifacts through detailed descriptions of naturally occurring communication and interactions across time and space. Secondly, by using a range of representational techniques, the paper illustrates the ways in which multimodal analysis allows for revisiting the dimension of agent-artifact-agency. Agency here gets accounted for not as the sole property of human agents, but rather in terms of an intrinsic performatory dimension of agents-cum-artifacts-in-concert. Finally, the study illustrates the incongruence between individual actors talk and institutional accounting of language, learning and identity on the one hand, and the performance of languaging, learning and identity on the other.

Drawing upon multidisciplinary and multisited studies of social practices in different settings across time and space allows for juxtaposing of micro scale analysis of the unfolding of identity positions as well as the dynamic and chained obstacles, resistance, support, meaning-making that characterizes everyday social life at a meso scale. This data-driven contribution is based upon analyses of ethnographic recordings of activities from projects that can be conventionally described in terms of (i) virtual platforms and social media; (ii) expert lead public discussions on gendered spaces in a megacity in Asia; and, (iii) segregated special schools in Sweden.

This empirical contribution takes both a socially oriented perspective and a postcolonial framework on ways-with-words and ways-of-being. The ways in which human beings “live in language” and their “languaging” has a bearing upon socialization, including the learning of conventional language varieties and identity positions in different settings. Focusing performatory and accounting practices shifts the analytical lens away from actors “pure” intentions, motivations and desires, and the “real” meanings that reside in and are ascribed to human talk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Sociocultural theory, Performativity, Institutional learning, Everyday life, Agency, Representations, Multimodality, Identity
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38566OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-38566DiVA: diva2:762825
Conference
AAAL 2014 (American Association for Applied Linguistics, 22-25 March 2014, Portland, USA.
Note

AAAL 2014 (American Association for Applied Linguistics). Colloquium “Socially Mediated Agency and Second Language Learning: Theory, Analysis, Pedagogy”. Organizers: Liz Miller and Gergana Vitanova. 22-25 March 2014. Portland, USA.

Available from: 2014-11-13 Created: 2014-11-13 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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