Identity in post-colonial contexts.

Sandhu, P., & Higgins, C. (2016). Identity in post-colonial contexts. In S. Preece (Ed.),The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity (pp. 179-194). London and New York: Routledge.

In this chapter, the authors take a dimensional approach to identity in postcolonial contexts.  After describing the foundational concepts of postcolonialism and examining the impact that it has had in applied linguistics, we engage with the proliferation of more recent theorizations of the sociopolitics of language and identity, which have emerged largely as a critique of postcolonial theory. While the term postcolonial still has widespread use in scholarship by and about former colonizers-colonized relations, many other concepts have emerged to complicate and to challenge the foundational concepts in postcolonial frameworks.  In the fields of applied and sociolinguistics, work on translanguaging and translingual practices have challenged the relevance of colonial legacies by foregrounding local, transcultural language practices as the key sites for identity construction (Canagarajah, 2013; García & Li Wei, 2014; Pennycook, 2010; Sultana, Dovchin & Pennycook, 2013).  This work moves away from the dichotomous conceptualizations frequently used in postcolonial approaches and highlights the importance of mobility in language and identity, drawing attention to the varied use of language in new forms of cultural production afforded by intersecting scapes of people, media, ideas, technology, and capital (Appadurai 1996; Higgins, 2011). Even within this new body of work, however, discourses tied to the colonial era can still be encountered as speakers themselves enact identities that explicitly reproduce or challenge center-periphery relations and ideologies.

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