This study investigates the identity negotiations and language ideologies among/around Syrian refugees residing in Turkey by concentrating on the case of two multilingual, Syrian graduate students who have been forcedly displaced from Syria and resettled in Turkey. The study particularly explores participants’ metalinguistic narratives of their language choices, multilingual repertoires and identity positionings. We argue that everyday talk about migration and migrants either within the migrant communities or in the majority society needs to be conceptualised with reference to a language ideological framework combined with a stancetaking approach. Our analysis reveals that the participants’ linguistic practices and identity positions are heavily invoked by/through their engagements with the Turkish language and community and influenced by the highly nationalist anti-refugee discourse prevailing in Turkey. The participants negotiate their self-identity with respect to and in sharp contrast with widely- circulating negative discourses of refugee representations. Language choice and code-switching appear as major discursive and interactional strategies indexing stancetaking in the construction of narratives within the interview context.

DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2023.2216662
ISSN: 0143-4632