This study of sociolinguistic variation examines the relation between social identity and ways of speaking. Studying variations in language not only reveals a great deal about speakers' strategies with respect to variables such as social class, gender, ethnicity and age, it also affords us the opportunity to observe linguistic change in progress. The volume brings together leading experts from a range of disciplines to create a broad perspective on the study of style and variation. Beginning with an introduction to theoretical issues, the book goes on to discuss key approaches to stylistic variation in spoken language, including such issues as attention paid to speech, audience design, identity construction, the corpus study of register, genre, distinctiveness and the anthropological study of style. Rigorous and engaging, this book will become the standard work on stylistic variation. It will be welcomed by students and academics in sociolinguistics, English language, dialectology, anthropology and sociology.