Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Linguistic Ethnography

  • Angela Creese
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_257


As a term designating a particular configuration of interests within the broader field of socio‐ and applied linguistics, ‘linguistic ethnography’ (LE) is a theoretical and methodological development orientating towards particular, established traditions but defining itself in the new intellectual climate of late modernity and post‐structuralism.

The debate about ‘what is’ and ‘what is not’ distinctive to an understanding of linguistic ethnography is current and the term linguistic ethnography itself is in its infancy. On the one hand it positions itself very much alongside anthropological traditions to the study of language, such as the ethnography of communication (Hymes, 1968, 1972) and interactional sociolinguistics (IS) (Gumperz, 1972, 1982), while on the other hand, it claims a distinctiveness by keeping the door open to wider interpretive approaches from within anthropology, applied linguistics and sociology. Linguistic ethnography typically takes a...


Language Policy Conversation Analysis Critical Discourse Analysis Contextual Parameter Language Ideology 
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I am grateful to Richard Barwell, Adrian Blackledge, Vally Lytra, Janet Maybin, Ben Rampton and Karin Tusting for their critical engagement with and feedback on this chapter.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Creese
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK