- Associate Professor
CHANTAL TETREAULT is a linguistic and cultural anthropologist whose recent work has primarily focused on issues of migration and social change in France. Dr. Tetreault’s current project addresses the interactional styles whereby French adolescents of Algerian descent construct and express their emergent identities as Arab Muslims and French youth. More generally, her research illuminates how cultural processes of identity construction, primarily relating to gender and ethnicity, are achieved through everyday language use. Professor Tetreault’s publications and teaching both challenge naturalized assumptions about the link between identity and language, thereby contributing to new scholarship in linguistic anthropology that rejects the previously common pattern of equating cultural groups and particular language styles.The larger theoretical and cultural issues of Dr. Tetreault’s work deal with globalization and the process of charting new social identities as they emerge in innovative linguistic forms. A main focus of this intellectual project concerns discovering and describing the processes whereby the ideological underpinnings of social identities are constructed and taken apart in everyday interaction. For example, Dr. Tetreault analyzes instances of “crossing,” that is, when individuals adopt and transform linguistic styles that are normally ascribed to a group to which they are not granted membership. Research on crossing holds a central theoretical place in current linguistic anthropological research because it provides a way to explore how linguistic and cultural forms come to take on particular social meanings as well as how they are challenged on ideological grounds.