Stance: Sociolinguistic Perspectives

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All communication involves acts of stance, in which speakers take up positions vis-a-vis the expressive, referential, interactional and social implications of their speech. This book brings together contributions in a new and dynamic current of academic explorations of stancetaking as a sociolinguistic phenomenon. Drawing on data from such diverse contexts as advertising, tourism, historical texts, naturally occurring conversation, classroom interaction and interviews, leading authors in the field of sociolinguistics in this volume explore how linguistic stancetaking is implicated in the representation of self, personal style and acts of stylization, and self- and other-positioning. The analyses also focus on how speakers deploy and take up stances vis-a-vis sociolinguistic variables and the critical role of stance in the processes of indexicalization: how linguistic forms come to be associated with social categories and meanings. In doing so, many of the authors address critical issues of power and social reproduction, examining how stance is implicated in the production, reproduction and potential change of social and linguistic hierarchies and ideologies. This volume maps out the terrain of existing sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological research on stance, synthesizes how it relates to existing theoretical orientations, and identifies a framework for future research.