Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Conversation Analysis (CA) has been used to reveal cultural groups with which an individual identifies him- or herself as interactants are found to practice identity group categories in discourse. In this study, a CA approach — the organisation of turn-taking in particular — was adopted to explore how a senior Chinese immigrant in Australia perceived her own identity through naturally occurring conversations with two local secondary school students, one being a non-Chinese-background English monolingual and the other a Chinese-background Cantonese-English bilingual. How the senior initiated and allocated her turns in four conversations is taken to reflect the way in which she perceived herself and her relationship with her interlocutor(s). The findings suggest that the senior’s cultural identity is not static but emerging and constructed in the conversations with her interlocutors over interactive activities. As such, this study contributes to our understanding of the nature of identity and the role of conversational interaction in negotiating cultural identities.


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