Communicative Repertoires and Cultural Identity Construction in a Super Diverse Social Networking Space of Students of the National University of Lesotho

Henry Amo Mensah


The paper examines communicative repertoires and cultural identity construction among students of the National University of Lesotho in the social media space. The paper argues that culture and cultural identity on social media are a complex. Specifically, the studies the manner and ways in which the students deployed communicative repertoires on social media to index their individual and collective identities. Cultural convergence and divergence together with hybridity provides a solid foundation on which the paper is anchored. The chapter combines Fishman (1965, 1972) conceptualisation of domain and Halliday and Hassan’s (1976) approach to discourse analysis as methods for analysing the data. The study is qualitative. In all, 40 students participated in the study. Three groups of 10 students took part in different focus group discussions while ten students were interviewed. The research also analysed screen shots of the students’ posts, comments and communication on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp to find out how they pointed to the students’ individual and collective identities. The paper concludes that on social media culture and cultural identity can take many forms and that a “glocalised” linguistic community is a community where both the local and global linguistic resources available to a community are deployed for a variety of communicative purposes. These communicative repertoires employed on social media mark out the individual and collective identity of the of the students.


Communicative repertoires; Cultural identity; Social media; Superdiverse; National University of Lesotho

Full Text:



Agha, A. (2007). Language and social relations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Baker, C. & Jones, S. P. (1998). Encyclopedia of bilingual education. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Bakhtin, M. (1981). Discourse in the novel. In M. Holquist (Ed.) The dialogic imagination (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, trans.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Belay, G. (1996). The (Re) construction and negotiation of cultural identities in the age of globalization. In H. B. Mokros (Ed), Interaction & identity. News Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of culture. New York: Routledge.

Blommaert, J. & Backus, A. (2011). Repertoires revisited: ‘knowing, language’ in superdiversity. Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies. Retrieved from

Blommaert, J., Collins, J., & Slembrouck, S. (2005). Spaces of Multilingualism. Language & Communication, 25, 197-216.

Blommaert, J. & Rampton, B. (2011). Language and superdiversity. DIVERSITIES. 13(2), 1-21.

Blommaert, J. (2008). Language, asylum, and the national order. Working Papers in Urban Languages and Literacies 50.

Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.

Breidenbach, J., & Zukrigl, I. (1998). Tanz der Kulturen. Kulturelle Identität in einer globalisierten Welt. München.

Chen, G. M. (2012). The Impact of New Media on Intercultural Communication in Global Context. China Media Research, 8(2), 1-10.

Clyne, M. & Sharifian, F. (2008). English as an International Language: Challenges and Opportunities. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 31(3),

Clyne, M. (1994). Inter-cultural communication at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Creese, A. & Blackledge, A. (2010). Multilingualism: A Critical Perspective. London and New York: Continuum.

Fishman, J. A. (1965). Who speaks what language to whom and when? La Linguistique, 2, 67-88.

Fishman, J.A. (1972). The Sociology of Language: An interdisciplinary Social Science Approach to Language in Society. Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers.

Flores, N. (2012, April). Dynamic lingualism. Paper presented at the 57th Annual Conference of the International Linguistics Association. New York, NY.

Garcia, O. (2009). Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Gudykunst, W. B. (1994): Bridging Differences (2nd ed.) Interpersonal Communication texts, 3. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Guirdham, M. (1999). Communicating across cultures. London: Macmillan Pres Ltd.

Gumperz, J. (1965). Language. Biennial Review of Anthropology, 4, 84-120.

Gumperz, J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gynne, A. & Bagga-Gupta, S. (20!3). Young people’s languaging and social positioning. Chaining in “bilingual in educational settings in Sweden. Linguistics and Education, 24(4), 479-496.

Hall, Stuart. (1996). Cultural Identity and Diaspora. In Padmini Mongia. (Ed.), Contemporary postcolonial theory: A reader. London: Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Hasan, R. (1976) Cohesion in English. London: Longman.

Hetcht, M. L., Collier, Mm. J. & Ribeau, S. A. (1993). African American communication: Ethnic identity and cultural interpretation. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Jorgenson, N. (2008). Polylingual languaging around and among children and adolescents. International Journalism of Multilingualism, 5(3), 161-176.

Kirkpatrick, A. (2007). World Englishes: Implications for International communication and English language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kramsch, C. & Whiteside, A. (2007). Three fundamental concepts in SLA and their relevance in multilingual contexts. Modern Language Journal, 91, 905-920.

Kramsch, C. (2014). Teaching foreign languages in an era of globalization: Introduction. The Modern Language Journal 98(1), 296–311.

Li, W. &, Zhu, H. (2013). Translanguaging identities and ideologies: Creating transnational space through flexible multilingual practices amongst Chinese university students in the UK. Applied Linguistics, 34(50), 516-535.

Ludi, G. (2006). Multilingual repertoires and the consequences for linguistic theory. PRAGMATICS AND BEYOND NEW SERIES, 144: 11.

Makoni, S. & Pennycook. A. (2012). Disinventing multilingualism: from monological multilingualism to multilingua francas. In M. Martin-Jones, A. Blackledge, & A. Creese (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism. London: Routledge.

McKay, S. (2002). Teaching English as an International Language: Rethinking Goals and Approaches. Oxford University Press.

Piller, I. (2001). Identity construction in multilingual advertising. Language in Society, 30, 153-186.

Rampton, B. (1995). Crossing: language and ethnicity among adolescents. London: Longman.

Rampton, B. (2010). From ‘multi-ethnic urban heteroglossia’ to contemporary urban vernacular’. Working Papers in Urban Languages and Literacies 61.

Rhymes, B. (2012). Recontextualizing YouTube: From micro-macro to mass mediated communicative repertoires. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 43 (2), 214-227.

Sawyer, R. (2011). The Impact of the New Social Media on Intercultural Adaptation. Senior Honors Project. Retrievied from

Schmidt, S. J. (1999). Kultur als Programm. Zur Diskussion gestalt. In: Viehoff, R,; Segers, R. T. (Hg): Kultur, Identtat, Europa. Frankfur/M., S. 120-129.

Sharifian, F. (2003). Cultural Conceptualisations and Language: Theoretical frameworks and applications. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Sharifian, F. (2011). Cultural Conceptualizations and Language (Vol. 1). Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Simpson, J. (2015). English language learning for adult migrants in superdiverse Britain. In J. Simpson, & A. Whiteside (Eds). Adult language education and migration: Challenging agendas in policy and practice. London: Routledge.

Simpson, J. (2016). Translanguaging in the contact zone: Language use in superdiverse urban areas. Working papers in Translanguaging and Translation (WP. 14). Retrieved from

Stern, H. H. (2009). Fundamental concepts of language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. New York: Guilford Press.

Van Dijk, J. (1998). The reality of virtual communities. Trends in Communication, 1(1), 3963.

Vertovec., S. (2010). Towards post-multiculturalism? Changing communities, contexts and conditions of diversity. International Social Science Journal, 199, 83-95.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yazdiha, H. (2010). Conceptualizing Hybridity: Deconstructing Boundaries through the Hybrid. Formations. 1(1), 31- 38.

Yep, G. A. (2002). My Three Cultures: Navigating the Multicultural Identity Landscape. In. Judith N., Martin, L. A., Flores, & K. N., Thomas (Eds). Intercultural Communication: Experiences and Contexts.

Zentalla, A. C. (1997). Growing Up Bilingual. Maiden, MA: Blackwell.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Henry Amo Mensah

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Online Submission:

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;;

 Articles published in Cross-Cultural Communication are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture