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Språk, diaspora, makt: Flerspråkiga resurser och diasporaidentiteter bland unga vuxna i Sverige
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism.
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Language, diaspora, power : Multilingual resources and diaspora identities among young adults in Sweden (English)
Abstract [en]

Based on three separate studies, this thesis explores diaspora identities among young adult Assyrians/Syrians in Sweden, mediated through language. The focus is on how multilingual young adults use their languages and reflect on their use of language. The young adults’ experiences of, and perceptions of, languages are studied in two different socio-geographic locations in Sweden. The theoretical concepts applied in this thesis pave the way for nuanced conceptions of diaspora. Foucault’s understandings of concepts such as resistance, power and discourse have been applied, as have Bourdieu’s notions of field, capital and habitus. With these concepts, the thesis investigates and highlights subject positions and power relations that emerged in the young adults’ language practices and meta-reflections on their use of language. Furthermore, concepts from linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics have been applied as important complements to Bourdieu and Foucault. This theoretical and conceptual combination clarifies how the young adults’ perceived linguistic opportunities and limitations are closely linked to status and power, habitus and language ideologies. Study I deals with the construction and positioning of native and non-native speaker of a language and illuminates ideological beliefs that come with language. Highly fluent multilinguals provide key data on notions of nativelikeness and near-nativelikeness that are of value for understanding processes of acquisition and use. The study shows that relative judgments of nativelikeness are interactionally accomplished (membership) categorizations made on the basis of specific linguistic features relative to particular linguistic markets. This suggests the necessity of revisiting notions of nativelikeness and account for the phenomenon in terms of register, voice, and identity relative to different symbolic and linguistic markets. Study II examines under what conditions the minority language Suryoyo can be connected to symbolic power and become linguistic capital for young Assyrian/Syrian adults. Fieldwork in two different socio-geographic places made it possible to identify some general tendencies in the data. In order to understand the complexity of linguistic and social strategies that are developed among the young adults two notions are introduced, peripheral centre and context-specific repertoire, that combine individual- and space bound repertoires. Study III, finally, deals with social categorization experienced, reproduced, and resisted in everyday life, by observing and analyzing an interaction between one of the participants and his classmates. By applying intersectionality as the key notion in the analysis, the study indicates that valued capitals are never just about one single category. The study shows how everyday linguistic and cultural practices and various forms of capital, such as ethnicity and language, together locate individuals, according to their representations of everyday encounters across difference. In conclusion, the present thesis provides insight into the circumstances under which different languages are used and developed, and make visible some of the conditions for integration in today’s Swedish society. Thereby, it contributes to increasing our knowledge of the relationships between language, diaspora and power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för svenska och flerspråkighet, Stockholms universitet , 2020. , p. 71
Series
Dissertations in Bilingualism, ISSN 1400-5921 ; 30
Keywords [en]
multilingualism, young adults, language ideology, linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, diaspora, power, habitus, identities
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Bilingualism
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-185219ISBN: 978-91-7911-300-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7911-301-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-185219DiVA, id: diva2:1468515
Public defence
2020-11-23, online via Zoom. Zoom-länken kommer att publiceras före disputationen på https://www.su.se/svefler/, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-10-29 Created: 2020-09-18 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. High proficiency in markets of performance a sociocultural approach to nativelikeness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High proficiency in markets of performance a sociocultural approach to nativelikeness
2012 (English)In: Studies in Second Language Acquisition, ISSN 0272-2631, E-ISSN 1470-1545, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 321-345Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High-proficiency second language (L2) learners challenge much theory and methodology in contemporary sociolinguistic and L2 acquisition research, which suggests the need for honest interdisciplinarity when working in the interstices of style, stylization, and advanced acquisition processes. When to consider fluent and highly competent speakers of a language to be language learners in ways relevant to SLA theory is a fraught and contentious issue. This study suggests that highly fluent multilinguals provide key data on notions of nativelikeness and near-nativelikeness that are of value for understanding processes of acquisition and use. It suggests that relative judgments of nativelikeness are interactionally accomplished (membership) categorizations made on the basis of specific linguistic features relative to particular linguistic markets. The data for the study are taken from a unique population-namely, young people from multilingual family backgrounds, born and raised in Sweden, all of whom ethnically self-identify as Assyrian-Syrian but whose repertoires are complexly multilingual. All participants are generally perceived to be native speakers of Swedish on a daily basis. Nevertheless, at certain moments, these young people are reclassified as near-native or native-like. The study analyzes their narrative accounts of metalinguistic reflexivity from occasions and interactional moments when they are classified as nonstandard speakers and, therefore, near-natives or learners. The findings suggest the necessity of revisiting notions of nativelikeness and account for the phenomenon in terms of register, voice, and identity relative to different symbolic and linguistic markets.

National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79789 (URN)10.1017/S0272263112000071 (DOI)000304015700007 ()
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2012-09-11 Created: 2012-09-11 Last updated: 2022-02-24Bibliographically approved
2. "Självklart känns det mer tryggt att vara där inne i huset" - om den sociokulturella kontextens betydelse för språkliga repertoarer och identiteter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Självklart känns det mer tryggt att vara där inne i huset" - om den sociokulturella kontextens betydelse för språkliga repertoarer och identiteter
2015 (Swedish)In: Nordand: nordisk tidsskrift for andrespråksforskning, ISSN 0809-9227, E-ISSN 2535-3381, no 1, p. 7-28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bergen: , 2015
Keywords
multilingual young adults, sociocultural contexts, context-specific repertoires, diaspora, ethnography, flerspråkiga unga vuxna, sociokulturella kontexter, kontextspecifik repertoar, diaspora, etnografi
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Bilingualism
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121610 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-12 Created: 2015-10-12 Last updated: 2022-11-09Bibliographically approved
3. Språk, makt och "Den Andre": Erfarenheter av underordning och/eller "möjliggörande" i Sverige
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Språk, makt och "Den Andre": Erfarenheter av underordning och/eller "möjliggörande" i Sverige
2018 (Swedish)In: Paideia, ISSN 1904-9633, no 16, p. 46-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna studie är att visa hur språket och kroppen används som gränsmarkörer för att skapa och skilja ut det svenska genom vardaglig språkanvändning. Detta görs med hänvisning till idén om intersektionen av indexikaliteter av "Den Andre". Därmed bidrar artikeln till att göra utbildningsaktörer medvetna om hur olika maktrelationer vävs ihop och omformar olika koncept av svenska samt betydelsen av vad det innebär att kunna svenska. Studiens resultat kan användas för att nå ökad förståelse för språkets roll och de möjligheter och begränsningar som följer av ett visst sätt att tala.

Keywords
sociolingvistik, symbolisk makt, intersektionalitet, etnografi, flerspråkighet
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Bilingualism
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163318 (URN)
Available from: 2018-12-21 Created: 2018-12-21 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Eliaso Magnusson, Josefina

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