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Language, identity, and the body in relation to others: Sensemaking in a new migratory space
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3706-9880
2023 (English)In: Dynamics of multilingualism: Spatialised repertoires and representations in unstable times / [ed] Maria Kuteeva & Caroline Kerfoot, Palgrave Macmillan, 2023Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study considers how linguistic and spatial repertoires are experienced and understood by English-origin adults who now reside in Sweden. These individuals come from a space where they are familiar with the social rules and language practices but have entered a new space where this is not the case. Particular focus is given to the role that lived experiences of language play in the construction of participants’ repertoires, and most importantly, how lived experiences moderate the availability and accessibility of an individual’s acquired repertoire. The study locates itself within the phenomenological tradition that draws on the idea of the intersubjective nature of perception and aims to uncover how an individual perceives and makes sense of language and identity in this context. Equally relevant, and also borrowed from phenomenology, is the notion of the ‘body image’, which is seen as being formed from the social, relational, and inter-human interactions of a subject, and importantly for this study is the idea that the body image is key in understanding current interactional practices as well as expectations of interaction and wider ideologies of communication. In order to access participants’ experiences, I draw on biographical interviews in which participants elaborate on their past and present lives. The findings show that participants consistently compare their body-in-relation-to-others that they come into contact with in the new space. In order to do this, participants construct homogenous groups of ‘Swedes’ and ‘immigrants’, who in turn become enregistered with specific ideologies of communication. Additionally, participants construct spaces of potentialities regarding how they desire for their children to embody ‘Britishness’, which is closely linked to managing their children’s linguistic repertoires, and spaces of constraint, where participants consider how the local environment restricts their ability to deploy their entire communicative repertoire.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.
Keywords [en]
bilingualism, identity, body image, phenomenology, repertoire
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92752OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-92752DiVA, id: diva2:1720935
Note

Pre-print.

Available from: 2022-12-20 Created: 2022-12-20 Last updated: 2024-05-27
In thesis
1. Language practices in Swedish-English families
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language practices in Swedish-English families
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines the family language practices of Swedish-English families using an interdisciplinary and mixed-method approach. The principal aim is to empirically document what these practices are, as well as how practices interact with various ideological, conceptual, and contextual factors.

The dissertation is composed of four empirical studies and a comprehensive summary with seven chapters. In order to engage with the complex, multidimensional nature of bilingual family language practices, the empirical studies adopt four different theoretical and methodological frameworks. Study I uses a large-scale quantitative approach to investigate the connection between declared family language practices and macro societal factors. Study II adopts a conversation analytic approach to examine the local sequential context of family language practices. Study III uses a rhizomatic discourse analytic approach, which considers how family language practices can be conceptualised as an assemblage of semiotic resources, objects, space, and time. Finally, Study IV focuses on the affective and psychological dimensions of language practices by adopting an interpretative phenomenological approach that explores participants’ thoughts, feelings, and their lived experiences with language.

The chapters of the comprehensive summary discuss the four empirical studies in relation to an expanded theoretical framework and in relation to each other. Although the epistemological and theoretical perspectives adopted in the four studies are different, they all consider how language practices are fundamentally situated in the local context of occurrence. Each study illuminates a portion of this local context, which, when triangulated, leads to a richer understanding of language practices than would be obtained with a single approach alone. In addition, the findings emphasise and exemplify how the context-sensitive dimensions of agency, identity, and emotion are inherently connected to language practices in bilingual families.

Abstract [en]

What are the language practices in Swedish-English families? Why are these practices the way they are? Answering questions like these is surprisingly complex and requires investigation from multiple angles. This dissertation addresses the abovementioned questions through the adoption of an interdisciplinary and mixed-method approach, which centres on uncovering the family language practices of Swedish-English families in situ. In addition, the analyses relate these language practices to the views and past experiences of family members. The data consists of video recordings of everyday family life, interviews with family members, and language practice questionnaires. Findings reveal that the language practices of Swedish-English families appear to be influenced by socioeconomic status, family constellation, family relationships, activities of everyday life, epistemic orders, space, time, as well as family members’ thoughts, feelings, and desires. The dissertation offers a multidimensional approach to engaging with the full complexity of family language practices in bilingual families.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2023. p. 109
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2023:3
Keywords
family language policy, bilingualism, conversation analysis, rhizome, linguistic repertoires, Swedish, English
National Category
Specific Languages General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92753 (URN)978-91-7867-334-6 (ISBN)978-91-7867-335-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-01-31, Sjöströmsalen, 1B 309, Karlstad, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-01-10 Created: 2022-12-20 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Roberts, Tim

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