Abstract: Involving speakers in research on their linguistic practices has been at the core of sociolinguistics since the inception of the field. In contrast to social sciences, however, sociolinguists have rarely addressed the issues surrounding the participation of those involved and engaged in the research process. This paper aims at reviewing the state of the art and outlining critical dimensions and aspects with relation to participation. We explore previous studies and study designs with the help of the following questions: Who has been involved? How and with what impact have stakeholders participated in different strands of sociolinguistic research? Current developments are presented and reviewed with particular reference to language expertise of those outside academia, as manifested in everyday talk about language, and the link between the production of this knowledge and social inequalities. We point out that the interconnectedness of everyday language expertise and social (in)equality can only be interpreted in highly localised contexts, whose diverse understandings and conceptualisations provide and, at the same time, limit the possibilities of social transformation.