The (im)possibility of sociolinguistic hybridity : Power and scaling in post-soviet, transnational life

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-349
Journal / PublicationJournal of Sociolinguistics
Issue number3
Online published9 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


This paper contributes to disentangling hybridity from assumptions about marginality, resistance and the dissolution of boundaries in sociolinguistic scholarship. To do so, it examines how speakers make certain types of hybrid identities (im)possible through their discursive practices of scaling. Focusing on post-soviet, Central Asian migrants in the United States, I demonstrate how their discourses on ethnolinguistic identity rely on multiple scalar perspectives, which (re)make boundaries in different ways that (dis)allow for hybrid identities to emerge. I show that speakers engage in such discourses in order to navigate their marginal transnational positionings, and that their emergent hybrid identities do not ensure resistance to national norms or transcend categorical boundaries. These empirical observations, I argue, have implications for conceptualizing the relationship between power, marginality and hybrid forms more broadly.

Research Area(s)

  • discursive imaginary, hybridity, language and migration, marginality, post-soviet, scales and scaling