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    “Where are you really from?”: nationality and ethnicity talk (NET) in everyday interactions

    Zhu, Hua and Wei, Li (2016) “Where are you really from?”: nationality and ethnicity talk (NET) in everyday interactions. Applied Linguistics Review 7 (4), pp. 449-490. ISSN 1868-6303.

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    Abstract

    The article examines the significance of questions such as “where are you really from?” in everyday conversational interactions. Defining this kind of talk as nationality and ethnicity talk (NET), i.e. discourse that either explicitly or inexplicitly evokes one’s nationality or ethnicity in everyday conversation, the paper discusses what constitutes NET, how it works through symbolic and indexical cues and strategic emphasis, and why it matters in the wider context of identity, race, intercultural contact and power relations. The discussion draws on social media data including videos, blogs, on-line comments and the authors’ observations, and focuses on NET around Asian people living outside Asia. It argues that the question “where are you really from” itself does not per se contest immigrants’ entitlement. However, what makes a difference to the perception of whether one is an “interloper” - someone who is not wanted - is the “tangled” history, memory and expectation imbued and fuelled by power inequality.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Nationality and ethnicity talk, folk theory of race, stereotype
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
    Depositing User: Zhu Hua
    Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2016 11:51
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2017 00:10
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/16303

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