Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 6, No 3 (2012)

Who’s the expert here? Shifts in the powerful identity in a sewing cooperative community of practice

Caroline H. Vickers, Sharon K. Deckert, Wendy B. Smith, José R. Morones
Issued Date: 3 Aug 2013


This paper examines the co-influential nature of macro-level power structures and microinteractionally constructed relationships in the construction, co-construction and reconstruction of the powerful identity. Using a community of practice framework, which allows for an intricate look at hierarchy and power within groups, we will demonstrate that within the context of our data, a multilingual sewing cooperative, the powerful identity is not static. Rather, the powerful identity is co-constructed and reconstructed by participants depending on the participation framework and the topic of interaction. As interactants engage with one another, the powerful identity is contingent upon the construction of an expert identity within the local micro-interactional context and how that identity is indexed within the various participation frameworks that emerge in the ongoing interactional life of the sewing cooperative community of practice.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v6i3.421


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