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Sociolinguistic Ethnography in a Changing Society
Economic and Social Research Council 1 THE VALUE OF SOCIOLINGUISTIC ETHNOGRAPHY (SE) Textual data such as interviews & transcripts are widely used in social science, but there are always risks of over- & under-interpretation. SE helps to do justice to textual data, offering resources for analyses that are both rich AND disciplined. SE methodology takes the view that i) meaning is shaped within specific social relations, interactional histories and institutional regimes, produced & construed by agents with expectations & repertoires that have to be grasped ethnographically ii) meaning is more than just the content of words, & biography, identifications, stance & nuance are extensively signalled in the sociolinguistic fine-grain. SE methods are very well established in US Linguistic Anthropology, & have a firm base in the UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum (UKLEF), but outside the subfields of applied & socio-linguistics, SE is little known in Britain. We aim to promote these methods among UK social scientists, developing a sustainable programme linked to UKLEF, the NCRM Real Life Methods node (RLM) & the ESRC Identities & Social Action Programme. 2 LINKS TO THE RDI SPECIFICATION Our scheme proposes a) the transfer and application of well-established methods from one discipline to another b) the sustainable provision of community-building activities for interdisciplinary students c) training the trainers
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