Professional and personal identity at work: achieving a synthesis through intercultural workplace talk

Janet Holmes (1) , Nicky Riddiford (2)
(1) Victoria University of Wellington, Australia , New Zealand
(2) Victoria University of Wellington, Australia , Australia

Abstract

This paper analyses the ways in which professional migrants from different cultural backgrounds, using English as an Additional Language, manage the demands of constructing a positive professional identity while also negotiating the complex relational aspects of workplace talk. The well-established methodology of the Wellington Language in the Workplace Project was used to collect relevant data from migrant workers interacting in professional New Zealand organisations. The analysis focuses on the socio-pragmatic strategies used by two skilled migrants to manage identity construction through social and transactional aspects of workplace interaction. The implications of their different approaches to the challenge are discussed.

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Authors

Janet Holmes
janet.holmes@vuw.ac.nz (Primary Contact)
Nicky Riddiford
Author Biographies

Janet Holmes, Victoria University of Wellington, Australia

JANET HOLMES is Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also Director of the Language in the Workplace Project and teaches sociolinguistics from first year to PhD level. She has published on politeness in discourse, pragmatic particles, New Zealand English, language and gender, sexist language, and many aspects of workplace discourse. Her most recent book on workplace discourse is Gendered Talk at Work (Blackwell 2007).

Nicky Riddiford, Victoria University of Wellington, Australia

NICKY RIDDIFORD is the coordinator and teacher of a workplace communication programme for skilled migrants at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also a member of the Language in the Workplace Project (LWP) research team. She is currently developing pragmatic training resources that draw heavily on LWP research, and is a key contributor to the research which is tracking the development of pragmatic competence of a group of skilled migrants in New Zealand.

Holmes, J., & Riddiford, N. (2010). Professional and personal identity at work: achieving a synthesis through intercultural workplace talk. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 10(1), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v10i1.494

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