Blood and Books: Performing Code Switching


  • Jeff Friedman Rutgers University



dance, Maori, New Zealand, orality, oral history, code switching


Code switching is a linguistic term that identifies ways individuals use communication modes and registers to negotiate difference in social relations. This essay suggests that arts-based inquiry, in the form of choreography and performance, provides a suitable and efficacious location within which both verbal and nonverbal channels of code switching can be investigated. Blood and Books, a case study of dance choreography within the context of post-colonial Maori performance in Aotearoa/New Zealand, is described and analyzed for its performance of code switching. The essay is framed by a discussion of how arts-based research within tertiary higher education requires careful negotiation in the form of code switching, as performed by the author's reflexive use of vernacular and formal registers in the essay. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802462


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Author Biography

Jeff Friedman, Rutgers University

Jeff FRIEDMAN is a dance artist and scholar with research interests in oral history theory, method and practice. Oral history, in particular, brackets Friedman's inquiry into tracing dancing in history through documentary modes, and the vexed role of ephemeral oral/kinesthetic traditions in the production of contemporary history. His research approaches this inquiry from the perspective of cognitive linguistics, Laban movement studies, art history, and nonverbal communication studies.




How to Cite

Friedman, J. (2008). Blood and Books: Performing Code Switching. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2).