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Dr. Alexandra Jaffe

Dr. Alexandra Jaffe Title: Professor
Office Location: PSY 415 Phone Number: (562) 985-2594
E-mail Address:


BA in English and French Literature, University of Delaware, 1980
MA in Linguistic Anthropology, Indiana University, 1983
PhD in Linguistic Anthropology, Indiana University, 1990

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

Publications and Professional Presentations

2016a. Sociolinguistics from the Periphery: Small Languages in New Circumstances. with Sari Pietikäinen, Helen Kelly-Holmes, Nikolas Coupland. Cambridge University Press.

2016b. What kinds of diversity are super? Hidden diversities and mobilities on a Mediterranean island Language and Communication

2016c. Stance, indeterminacy and ideological process: structuration in the indexical field, in Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates, Nikolas Coupland (ed.), Cambridge University Press.

2015a. Defining the new speaker: theoretical perspectives and learner trajectories. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 231: 21 – 44

2015b. Staging language on Corsica: Stance, improvisation, play, and heteroglossia. Language in Society 44: 1-26

2015c. Une sociolinguistique critique des idéologies linguistiques :une lecture franco-américaine de la polynomie [A critical sociolinguistics of language ideologies: A franco-american reading of polynomy] In Romain Colonna, ed.  Les locuteurs et les langues : pouvoirs, non-pouvoirs et contre-pouvoirs [Speakers and languages: Powers, nonpowers and antipowers] Limoges : Lambert-Lucas, 95-107.

2014a.  Minority language learning and communicative competence: Models of identity and participation in Corsican adult language courses. Language and Communication 33(4): 450-462.

2014b. Idéologies linguistiques, pratiques pédagogiques et positionnement sociolinguistiques. [Language ideologies, pedagogical practices and sociolinguistic stance] Cahiers d’Atelier de Sociolinguistique 6: 149-168.

 2014c. What Words Bring to the Table: The Linguistic Anthropological Toolkit as Applied to the Study of Food. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (one of 5 authors) 24(1): 84-97.

2013a.  Anthropological analysis. In  Research Methods in Sociolinguistics, Janet    Holmes and Kirk Hazen, eds. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell pp. 213-228.

2013b. Diverse voices, public broadcasts: Sociolinguistic representations in mainstream programming. In Analysing 21st-Century British English: Conceptual and Methodological Aspects of the BBC ‘Voices’ Project, Clive Upton and Bethan Davies, eds. New York: Routledge.

 2012a. Collaborative practice, linguistic anthropological inquiry and the mediation between researcher and practitioner discourses. In Multilingualism, Discourse and Ethnography, Marilyn Martin-Jones and Sheena Gardner, eds. New York : Routledge.

 2012b.   Multilingual citizenship and minority languages. In The Routledge   Handbook of Multilingualism, Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese, eds. New York : Routledge.

 2012c.   First editor and chapter contributor (with M. Sebba, J. Androutopoulos and Sally Johnson) Orthography as Social Action: Scripts, Spelling, Identity and Power, Mouton de Gruyter. Chapter is reprint of Jaffe 2008e.

2012d.  (with Cedric Oliva) Linguistic creativity across sites of practice: Italian and Corsican in tourist and educational contexts. In Multilingualism and the Periphery, Sari Pietikainen and Helen Kelly-Holmes, eds. New York: Oxford University Press.

2011a. Sociolinguistic diversity in mainstream media: authenticity, authority and processes of mediation and mediatization. Language and Politics: 562-586.

 2011b. (with Shana Walton) Stuff White People Like: Stance, class, race and internet commentary. In Language in the New Media: Sociolinguistic Perspectives, Crispin Thurlow and Kristine Mroszek, eds. Oxford University Press.

2010a. Critical perspectives on language-in-education policy : The Corsican example. In Ethnography and Language Policy, Teresa McCarty, ed. New York : Routledge.

 2010b. Vivre la francophonie en Corse: reproduction et transformation(s) dans un contexte d’élaboration d’une langue minorisée. [Living francophonie in Corsica: reproduction and transformation(s) in a context of minority language          revitalization] In Produire et reproduire la francophonie en la nommant, Nathalie Bélanger, Nicolas Garant, Phyllis Dalley and Tina Desabrais, eds.  University of Ottawa Press.

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.