Toward a Revision of a Critical Linguistic Anthropology

Author Information

Michael Hadzantonis,
SOAS, University of London, U.K.

DOI: 10.47298/cala2022.3-5
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in Asia 2022


While linguistic anthropology has as its aim neutrality, both across larger scholarship and within documented communities, the understanding that the anthropologist is indeed non-neutral has been widespread, and a debate central to linguistic anthropology, and to anthropology as a whole. In addition to neutrality, issues of reflexivity, ethics, and positionality have also been extensively debated, forming tensions among these for the anthropologist. Yet, questions central to a neutral linguistic anthropology include that of how the anthropologist addresses power structures, between themselves and the community, and within and across the community, how language effects some change in power differentials in a community, and how the anthropologist can contribute to such processes, during their anthropological work.

In this presentation, I draw on my work globally to describe my ethnographies of three regions; Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. This work has resulted in work with the communities to understand how issues of language alter social and cultural differentials, and how these communities fragment and grow from alterations in such discursive practices. In the talk, I present a ten-point model on which I structure such a critical linguistic anthropological approach.

Keywords: Linguistic anthropology, Greece, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, critical ethnography, power

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