Identity and Society
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Identiteet ja ühiskond
Course title in English
Identity and Society
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
autumn 2
Assessment form
lecturer of 2018/2019  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
- Understand the relationship between identity and society in contemporary world.
- Describe and discuss the link between language, identity and society.
- Understand the nature of identity building and formation in the current context of globalization.
- Analyse the connection between language and other relevant social variables (race, ethnicity, class, gender).
- Discuss the role of language as social action and the power of language ideologies.
- Examine multilingualism from both societal and individual perspectives.
- Assess the benefits and challenges of plurilingual societies.
Brief description of the course
The course is based on weekly lectures, where relevant readings related to key topics will be presented and discussed. Each week, we will concentrate on the aspects, as detailed in the week-by-week plan. At the same time, students will be asked to undertake an ethnographic fieldwork (more details will follow). There will be presentations and discussions based on the weekly readings.
Independent work
Take the necessary steps to fulfil the assignment individually and independently. During the field work students will take notes, take photos, make videos, collect documents, realize short street interviews, etc. – all with the objective to help their essay preparation.
As an outcome of independent work, students have to write a comprehensive essay concerning identity and living in a global society where they have to draw connections between essential theoretical points and own practical experience. They also have to present it during the meeting on 5 December.
Learning outcomes in the course
By the end of the course, students will be aware of the key issues, debates and main theories about the concepts presented in class, including identity, language, culture, society, race, social class, ethnicity, linguistic ideologies, globalization and multilingualism.
Assessment methods
A final grade consists of active participation in class (10%) + individual presentations (30%) + written reports (30%) + ethnographic fieldwork (30%)
Prof. Anastassia Zabrodskaja
Study literature
Uploaded to course homepage:
Alim, H. S., A. Ibrahim, and A. Pennycook (eds.) 2009 Global Linguistic Flows: Hip Hop Cultures, Youth Identities and the Politics of Language. New York and London: Routledge.
Block, David 2006. Multilingual Identities in a Global City. London Stories. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Blommaert, Jan and Jef Verschueren 1998 Debating Diversity: Analysing the Discourse of Tolerance. London and New York: Routledge.
Blommaert, Jan and Dong Jie 2010. Ethnographic fieldwork. A beginner’s guide. Bristol • Buffalo • Toronto: MM.
Gorter, Durk (ed.) 2006 Linguistic Landscape. A New Approach to Multilingualism. Clevendon, Buffalo, Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
Norton, Bonny 2013 Identity and Language Learning. Extending the Conversation. 2nd edition. Bristol • Buffalo • Toronto: MM.
Pennycook, Alastair 2010 Language as a local practice. London and New York: Routledge.
Shohamy, Elana and Durk Gorter (eds.) 2009 Linguistic Landscape: Expanding the Sce