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Keywords:

  • Code-switching;
  • identity representation;
  • third space;
  • language ideology;
  • hybridity;
  • global-local

This paper analyzes the use of Hindi in English newspapers in India to argue that code-switching creates a discursive space – a third space (Bhabha 1994) – where two systems of identity representation converge in response to global-local tensions on the one hand, and dialogically constituted identities, formed through resistance and appropriation, on the other. The results of the analysis of data show that code-switching: (1) reflects a new socio-ideological consciousness; (2) yields a new way to negotiate and navigate between a global identity and local practices; and (3) offers a new linguistic diacritic for class-based expressions of cultural identity. Based on these results, I conclude that code-switching, as linguistic hybridity, is a third space where social actors (re-)position themselves with regard to new community-practices of speaking, reading, and writing. It is in this space that actors are presumed to have the capacity to synthesize, to transform: code-switching serves as a visible marker of this transformation.