Code-Switching and Gender Identity

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Dr Panhwar Farida
Saima Murtaza Pandhiani
Ameer Ali Buriro


Pakistan is a socially close-knit, multilingual society where a major population is either bilingual or multilingual. A large population speaks local languages as their mother tongue; Urdu as the national language and educated Pakistanis also know English, which is language of academia. The multilingual speakers switch from one language to another to achieve communicative goals. The current paper takes a sociolinguistic approach to investigating the use of code-switching as a communicative strategy to achieve social goals including the construction of gender identity in informal interaction between multilingual educated Sindhi women students of University of Sindh, Jamshoro, in Pakistan, in their daily interaction to construct the female gender identity. Drawing on the code-switching existing theories of code-switching, this article focuses on the on the meaning and interpret on shift in language as potential communicative tool. Using the qualitative methodology, the findings reveal that majority of the students preferred English language to construct gender identity.

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