This book examines how identity is an issue in different second language learning contexts. It begins with a detailed presentation of what has become a popular approach to identity in the social sciences (including applied linguistics) today, one that is inspired in poststructuralist thought and is associated with the work of authors such as Anthony Giddens, Zygmunt Bauman, Chris Weedon, Judith Butler and Stuart Hall.
It then examines how in early SLA research focussing on affective variables, identity was an issue, lurking in the wings but not coming to the surface. Moving to the present, the book then examines in detail and critiques recent research focussing on identity in three distinct second language learning contexts. These contexts are: (1) adult migration, (2) foreign language classrooms and (3) study abroad programmes. The book concludes with suggestions for future research focussing on identity in second language learning.