“Distinction, Domination, Privilege and The Role of Code Switching”

Codes of Conduct - Code Switching and the Everyday Performance of Identity - K. Merinda Simmons

Vaia Touna [+-]
University of Alabama
Vaia Touna is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She is author of Fabrications of the Greek Past: Religion, Tradition, and the Making of Modern Identities (Brill, 2017) and editor of Strategic Acts in the Study of Identity: Towards a Dynamic Theory of People and Place (Equinox, 2019). Her research focuses on the sociology of religion, acts of identification and social formation, as well as methodological issues concerning the study of religion in the ancient Graeco-Roman world and of the past in general.


Code switching is a term used to describe switching between language systems and, more specifically, between informal and formal language. Although I see code switching as something practiced daily and therefore quite mundane—although with stakes always high and in various degrees—I will try in my presentation to see what sort of utility “code switching” has as an analytical term. For this I will use my research on “mystery cults” in the Greco-Roman world as an analogy to think through the manner in which research on code switching plays a role in creating zones of activity and identity by manipulating notions of privacy and public, notions of self and other.

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Touna, Vaia . “Distinction, Domination, Privilege and The Role of Code Switching”. Codes of Conduct - Code Switching and the Everyday Performance of Identity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Sep 2021. ISBN 9781781791844. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24865. Date accessed: 27 Feb 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24865. Sep 2021

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