Solidarity and the politics of ‘us’: How far can individuals go in language policy? Research methods in non-Western contexts

Cristine G. Severo, Sinfree B. Makoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we illustrate how applied linguistics research methods are problematic in the ways they approach non-Western contexts. We argue that the most vibrant research and effective research methods in language policy in colonial and postcolonial contexts are omitted due to Western framings of language research. Although we focus on African and Brazilian experiences, we understand that such relationships and experiences are not limited to geographic or demographic contexts. We question methods of research into: (a) how far individuals can go in language policy and politics; (b) the limits of what counts as local, micro, and ethnographic in applied linguistics research methods in non-Western contexts particularly in the area of language policy; and (c) how non-Western narratives help to expand the understanding of the relationship between language and politics. By addressing these concerns from the perspective of colonial experience in non-Western contexts, we problematize the use of concepts and methodologies centered on the ideas of agency and micro/local. By doing so, we tend to value and recognize the role played by the ideas of community and solidarity in helping to shape what counts as language and as politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000734034
ISBN (Print)9781138501140
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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