Language, identity, and insider/outsider positionality in Caribbean Creole English research

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This article is a critically reflexive interrogation of the researcher's identity with respect to qualitative language research in her own community, illustrated by discourse analysis of three vignettes from a critical ethnographic study of language education policy in Jamaica. Drawing on her biography as well as poststructuralist theories and research on identity and positioning, the author discusses the ways in which the choice, process, and (re)presentation of her research on Caribbean Creole English speakers in schools are filtered through the tensions among her ascribed, felt, and evolving insider/outsider identities and positionings. These tensions are heightened due to the highly charged and paradoxical nature of creole language politics, particularly with regard to education. Implications of such tensions for qualitative research in applied linguistics are also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-368
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Caribbean Creole English
  • Jamaican Creole
  • insider/outsider positioning
  • language education policy
  • researcher identities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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