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Away with linguists! Normativity, inequality and metascientific reflexivity in sociolinguistic fieldwork

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Abstract
This paper addresses the fact that in spite of the descriptive and well-intentioned ambitions of much sociolinguistic-ethnographic research, members of studied groups often continue to interpret such research as a largely vertically organized socio-political activity that communicates a prescriptive social and linguistic normativity the researcher is inevitably taken to embody. We argue that while many researchers agree that sociolinguistic fieldwork is inherently political, actual descriptions of informants' awareness of this are still rather scarce. In the process, we demonstrate how members' metascientific reflexivity can be particularly active precisely in and during fieldwork encounters and in the entire research event, complicating the idea of a pure and disinterested description and understanding.
Keywords
metascientific reflexivity, SCHOOL, PERSPECTIVE, REPRESENTATION, LANGUAGE, prescriptivism, observer's paradox, sociolinguistic fieldwork, Belgium, Belgian Congo

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MLA
Jaspers, Jürgen, and Michael Meeuwis. “Away with Linguists! Normativity, Inequality and Metascientific Reflexivity in Sociolinguistic Fieldwork.” MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION 32.6 (2013): 725–749. Print.
APA
Jaspers, J., & Meeuwis, M. (2013). Away with linguists! Normativity, inequality and metascientific reflexivity in sociolinguistic fieldwork. MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION, 32(6), 725–749.
Chicago author-date
Jaspers, Jürgen, and Michael Meeuwis. 2013. “Away with Linguists! Normativity, Inequality and Metascientific Reflexivity in Sociolinguistic Fieldwork.” Multilingua-journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communication 32 (6): 725–749.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Jaspers, Jürgen, and Michael Meeuwis. 2013. “Away with Linguists! Normativity, Inequality and Metascientific Reflexivity in Sociolinguistic Fieldwork.” Multilingua-journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communication 32 (6): 725–749.
Vancouver
1.
Jaspers J, Meeuwis M. Away with linguists! Normativity, inequality and metascientific reflexivity in sociolinguistic fieldwork. MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION. 2013;32(6):725–49.
IEEE
[1]
J. Jaspers and M. Meeuwis, “Away with linguists! Normativity, inequality and metascientific reflexivity in sociolinguistic fieldwork,” MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 725–749, 2013.
@article{4189479,
  abstract     = {This paper addresses the fact that in spite of the descriptive and well-intentioned ambitions of much sociolinguistic-ethnographic research, members of studied groups often continue to interpret such research as a largely vertically organized socio-political activity that communicates a prescriptive social and linguistic normativity the researcher is inevitably taken to embody. We argue that while many researchers agree that sociolinguistic fieldwork is inherently political, actual descriptions of informants' awareness of this are still rather scarce. In the process, we demonstrate how members' metascientific reflexivity can be particularly active precisely in and during fieldwork encounters and in the entire research event, complicating the idea of a pure and disinterested description and understanding.},
  author       = {Jaspers, Jürgen and Meeuwis, Michael},
  issn         = {0167-8507},
  journal      = {MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION},
  keywords     = {metascientific reflexivity,SCHOOL,PERSPECTIVE,REPRESENTATION,LANGUAGE,prescriptivism,observer's paradox,sociolinguistic fieldwork,Belgium,Belgian Congo},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {725--749},
  title        = {Away with linguists! Normativity, inequality and metascientific reflexivity in sociolinguistic fieldwork},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0035},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2013},
}

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