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Handbooks Courses Units

LIN3390 - Language and Identity

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Julie Bradshaw


Not offered in 2008


This unit examines the role of language in the construction of identity or identities, with a particular focus on gender identity. In addition the linguistic contribution to presentation and construction of ethnic and other identities will be examined. The examination of differences in the language use and communication patterns of the sexes focuses on

  1. a variety of languages
  2. written and spoken texts and
  3. public and private contexts including patient/doctor interaction, computer mediated interaction, interpersonal communication and educational settings. The unit will also examine the cultural and social framing of identity, style shifting and acts of identity, and identity formation in language contact and second language learning.


On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Summarize key theoretical debates in relation to identity and language;
  2. Compare the approaches of theorists from different discipline backgrounds;
  3. Reflect on gender differences across languages in the light of theoretical and empirical studies;
  4. Evaluate major methodological approaches to the study of identity and language;
  5. Work in teams to apply at least one methodology to a selected context;
  6. Use data thus collected to support an argument in relation to theoretical debates;
  7. Present a coherent oral and written account of research thus conducted.


Research project (2000 words) : 40%
Mid-semester test (1.5 hour) : 20%
Class fieldwork project (1000 words) : 30%
Class participation : 10%
Third year students will be expected to take a leadership role in the class fieldwork project. They will also need to collect original data in the individual research project.

Contact hours

2 hours per week


Any first-year sequence in Linguistics, a language, English as an International Language, Communication, Text and Context


Either LIN2390 or LIN3390

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