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Language (hi)stories: researching migration and multilingualism in Berlin

Language (hi)stories: researching migration and multilingualism in Berlin
Language (hi)stories: researching migration and multilingualism in Berlin
Research on the increasing complexity of urban societies has highlighted a range of dimensions of diversity in terms of language knowledge and linguistic practices. On the one hand, for example, ‘home language surveys’ reveal the vast range of languages used in major European cities and their spatial distribution. On the other hand, many studies have been devoted to research on innovative styles of ‘mixed’ language use, both in face-to-face interaction and in mediated forms. In this chapter, I consider how these demographic and interactional approaches can be complemented by a biographical perspective in order to develop a more refined, multi-dimensional understanding of the ‘linguistic texture of multilingual societies’ (Gogolin 2010).

The chapter draws on research in inner city districts of Berlin characterized by a high degree of migration and multilingualism. It is concerned with ways in which individual migrants reflect on how their experience with language has shaped their transnational life worlds. Individuals’ repertoires and their reflections on them are seen as characteristics of ‘superdiverse subjectivities’ (Blommaert and Backus 2011) in highly dynamic social contexts.

Inspired by research in sociolinguistics, social anthropology and documentary journalism, I explore this theme through the language biographies of inhabitants of a single apartment block, which in its changing ethnic and linguistic composition reflects the shifting ethnolinguistic mosaic of the city
978-3-631-64892-6
21
265-280
Peter Lang
Stevenson, Patrick
7b8878de-4a5b-4eaf-88d2-034d9041f41d
Horner, Kristine
de Saint-Georges, Ingrid
Weber, Jean-Jacques
Stevenson, Patrick
7b8878de-4a5b-4eaf-88d2-034d9041f41d
Horner, Kristine
de Saint-Georges, Ingrid
Weber, Jean-Jacques

Stevenson, Patrick (2014) Language (hi)stories: researching migration and multilingualism in Berlin. In, Horner, Kristine, de Saint-Georges, Ingrid and Weber, Jean-Jacques (eds.) Multilingualism and Mobility in Europe: Policies and Practices. (Language, Multilingualism and Social Change, 21) Oxford, GB. Peter Lang, pp. 265-280.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Research on the increasing complexity of urban societies has highlighted a range of dimensions of diversity in terms of language knowledge and linguistic practices. On the one hand, for example, ‘home language surveys’ reveal the vast range of languages used in major European cities and their spatial distribution. On the other hand, many studies have been devoted to research on innovative styles of ‘mixed’ language use, both in face-to-face interaction and in mediated forms. In this chapter, I consider how these demographic and interactional approaches can be complemented by a biographical perspective in order to develop a more refined, multi-dimensional understanding of the ‘linguistic texture of multilingual societies’ (Gogolin 2010).

The chapter draws on research in inner city districts of Berlin characterized by a high degree of migration and multilingualism. It is concerned with ways in which individual migrants reflect on how their experience with language has shaped their transnational life worlds. Individuals’ repertoires and their reflections on them are seen as characteristics of ‘superdiverse subjectivities’ (Blommaert and Backus 2011) in highly dynamic social contexts.

Inspired by research in sociolinguistics, social anthropology and documentary journalism, I explore this theme through the language biographies of inhabitants of a single apartment block, which in its changing ethnic and linguistic composition reflects the shifting ethnolinguistic mosaic of the city

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More information

Published date: 2014
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367711
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367711
ISBN: 978-3-631-64892-6
PURE UUID: 6fa0c5e7-53aa-45e4-b983-6dae04205b17

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Sep 2014 12:21
Last modified: 10 Jul 2020 16:35

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