Discursive Dances: Narratives of Insider/Outsider Researcher Tensions

Jacqueline Aiello, Shondel J. Nero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, two applied linguistics researchers who conducted qualitative studies in educational contexts in Italy and Jamaica reflexively interrogate identity tensions among their ascribed, felt and evolving insider/outsider identities and positions. The juxtaposition of selected discursively analyzed research vignettes reflects similarities and differences in our experiences in two very different contexts, but a convergence in the complexity of our (linguistic/cultural) identities, positions, and intersubjectivities as insider/outsider researchers. In both cases, as we sought to reconcile tensions in positions within interviews about language attitudes and language education policy, we performed “discursive dances” aimed at creating positional spaces as we collaboratively produced and co-constructed our experiences, identities, and positioning with our participants. We argue that the approaches, presentation, and re-presentation of our research are filtered through identity tensions. Therefore, in making these tensions explicit, we became sensitive to the role of power and positionality in our research process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Language, Identity and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019


  • Discursive dances
  • English
  • language attitudes and ideologies
  • qualitative interviews
  • reflexivity
  • researcher identities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Discursive Dances: Narratives of Insider/Outsider Researcher Tensions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this