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Power and identity: negotiation through code-switching in the Swiss German classroom Open Access


Other title
power, discourse analysis, identity, Switzerland, code-switching, German
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kidner, Keely
Supervisor and department
Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Daveluy, Michelle (Anthropology)
Maheux-Pelletier, Genevieve (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
This thesis focuses on the negotiation of power and identity between Swiss students and instructors in the Swiss classroom. Although Schriftdeutsch1 is the official language of secondary schools in Switzerland, speakers often practice code-switching, which serves many conversational functions (Auer 1998). This paper examines how Germans-peaking Swiss use code-switching strategies to negotiate power and identity in the classroom. My data is drawn from interactions in the classroom and a short interview. Using a constructivist methodology based on conversation analysis (Antaki & Widdicombe 1998; Meinhof & Galasinski 2005; Pavlenko & Blackledge 2004), I analyse classroom discussion in terms of the discourse functions of code-switching and how Swiss German is used to negotiate power and identity in interaction. This thesis reveals an unmarked classroom situation and shows that codeswitching fulfills important functions in classroom discourse.
License granted by Keely Kidner ( on 2009-11-21 (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: Kidner_Keely_Winter 2010
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