Skip to Local Navigation
Skip to Content
California State University, Long Beach
Linguistics Banner Large
Print this pageAdd this page to your favoritesSelect a font sizeSelect a small fontSelect a medium fontSelect a large font

Dr. Alexandra Jaffe

ajaffe_large Title: Professor
Office Location: PSY 415 Phone Number: (562) 985-2594
E-mail Address:


Bachelor’s Degree: 1980, English and French Literature, University of Delaware.
Master’s Degree: 1983, Linguistic Anthropology, Indiana University.
Ph.D.: 1990, Linguistic Anthropology, Indiana University.

Teaching/Research Interests:

Since 1988, I have been doing ethnographic research on Corsica, where I have studied issues of identity, power and resistance related to minority language shift and language revitalization. Most recently (in 2000) I have studied Corsican bilingual classrooms, focusing on the way that classroom interaction reflects and responds to sociolinguistic practice and ideology in Corsican culture. This research views schools as key institutions for the reproduction of culture (and dominant culture) as well as places where identities and power relations are actively constructed and occasionally transformed. This is a perspective that I bring to both of the undergraduate courses I am teaching. Another key theme in the courses I teach reflects my research focus on language hierarchies–how they are connected to wider social and cultural processes and structures, and how they affect lived experience and everyday communicative practice. Finally, issues of linguistic and cultural diversity in and outside the classroom are central to both my teaching and research interests.

Courses Taught:

  • LING/EDEL 379: Sociolinguistics and Schooling
  • LING 413: Language and Culture
  • LING 425/ANTH 421: Education Across Cultures
  • LING 470: Language and Discrimination
  • LING 540: Seminar in Sociolinguistics
  • LING 533: Ethnography of Communication

Publications and Professional Presentations:

  • 2007. Discourses of endangerment: contexts and consequences of essentializing discourses. In Discourses of Endangerment: Interests and Ideology in the Defense of Languages. Alexandre Duchene and Monica Heller, eds. London: Continuum Publishing Group, pp. 57-75.
  • 2005. La polynomie dans une ecole bilingue corse: bilan et defis. Marges Linguistiques no. 10, (novembre 2005/janvier 2006)
  • 2003a. Misrecognition Unmasked? “Polynomic” language, expert statuses and orthographic practices in Corsican schools. Pragmatics 13(3/4): 515-538
  • 2003b. “Imagined Competence”: Classroom Evaluation, Collective Identity and Linguistic Authenticity in a Corsican Bilingual Classroom. In Linguistic Anthropology of Education . Stanton Wortham and Betsy Rymes, eds. Westport CT : Praeger.
  • 1999. Ideologies in Action: Language Politics on Corsica . Berlin : Mouton de Gruyter.

Professional Activities, Awards, & Affiliations:

  • 2004-2005. Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • 2002. Recipient of the Edward Sapir Book Prize (Society for Linguistic Anthropology) for Ideologies in Action
  • 2000. National Science Foundation and Spencer Foundation grants for the study of bilingual education on Corsica. Co-editor, Linguistics and Education (since June 2004) Member, American Anthropological Association, Society for Linguistic Anthropology, Society for the Anthropology of Europe , Council on Anthropology and Education, International Pragmatics Association.