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Conceptualising Family Language Policy as a Rhizomatic Structure
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Centre for Research on the Teaching and Learning of Languages and Literature.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3706-9880
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A broad corpus of research on the field of family language policy (FLP) has highlighted the entanglement between socioeconomic, sociopolitical, sociocultural, and sociolinguistic factors with interactional practices in the home domain (Curdt-Christiansen, 2018; Curdt-Christiansen and Huang, 2020; Soler and Roberts, 2019 etc.) Attempting to holistically understand the relationship between a FLP and its many constitutive parts can therefore be a challenging process. In this presentation, I discuss how this evident complexity might be brought together through the implementation of a rhizomatic approach (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987; Pietikäinen, 2015). The metaphor of the rhizome articulates a view of the world as a complex and non-hierarchical network; it rejects essentialist categorisations such as languages existing as predefined systems, and sees social life as fluid and enmeshed with the environment. I believe that conceptualising family language policy in this way allows for a more comprehensive framing and understanding of how a FLP is formed at a certain time and space through the intra-action of family members and their socio-material worlds.

I aim to exemplify some of the possibilities of this approach using data from my doctoral project on the language practices of Swedish-English families. The project draws on family-recorded videos of their everyday lives, interviews, and retrospective analyses through stimulated recall procedures. The setting is relatively novel from a FLP perspective as the Swedish sociolinguistic milieu in which these families find themselves makes for a context where traditional majority versus minority language dynamics differ from many other international settings (e.g. in contexts where a ‘foreign’ language does not have parity in terms of prestige with the local language) and is therefore a unique site for examining the relationship between societal forces and their influence on home language regimes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Paris, 2021.
Keywords [en]
rhizome, assemblage, agency, linguistic ethnography, family language policy
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-87995OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-87995DiVA, id: diva2:1624993
Conference
Second international symposium on family language policy, INALCO, Paris, France, November 29-30
Available from: 2022-01-05 Created: 2022-01-05 Last updated: 2022-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Roberts, Tim

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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