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Não pode dzi kwela chapa. Bourdieuan social distinctions in Mozambican postcolonial nation-building
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8079-5197
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Positioned within critical sociolinguistics, this paper shows how Bourdieu’s notions of ‘distinction’ and habitus offer a coherent understanding of language and symbolic power in postcolonial settings of the Global South facing entangled processes of globalization, postcolonial nation building, and expansion of state provided education. These processes give rise to a multilayered and conflicting speaker. Showcasing Mozambique, the paper combines multilevel datasets; historiography, big picture survey data of the city of Maputo and an ethnographically inspired study from one neighborhood in the ‘poor belt’ of the city, to unravel complexities and what at first glance can seem contradictory dynamics. Crossing scales and markets, the paper shows how socioeconomic inequalities are mirrored in sociolinguistic inequalities and even in material urban space and suggests that ex-colonial languages, although ‘indigenized’ and submersed in a radically different ecology of fluid multilingual practices, nevertheless maintain – and actually exacerbate – local socio-economic stratification and reinstate condition of coloniality post independence.

Abstract [pt]

Posicionado na sociolinguística crítica, este artigo mostra como Bourdieu e as noções de"distinção" e "habitus" oferecem um entendimento coerente da linguagem e do poder simbólico em configurações pós-coloniais do Sul Global. Estes contextos enfrentam frequentemente processos de transformação social, globalização, criação-nação pós-colonial e expansão do sistema educativo, desencadeando um falador rodeado por múltiplas escalas em conflito. Exibindo o caso Moçambique, o estudo combina dados multiníveis; historiografia, dados “big picture” da cidade de Maputo e um estudo inspirado por abordagens etnograficas de um bairro no "faixa pobre " da cidade. No seu conjunto, mostram as complexidades e o que à primeira vista pode parecer uma dinâmica contraditória. Cruzando escalas e mercados, o estudo mostra como as desigualdades socioeconômicas se espelham nas desigualdades sociolinguísticas e até mesmo no espaço urbano material e sugere que as línguas ex-coloniais, apesar de serem "indigenizadas" e submersas numa ecologia radicalmente diferente de práticas fluidas multilingues, mantêm e exacerbam - estratificação socioeconômica local erestituição da condição de colonialidade pós-independência.

Keywords [en]
Bourdieu, social distinctions, socio-spatial segregation, urban space, postcolonial, Mozambique
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Romance Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167190OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-167190DiVA, id: diva2:1298106
Available from: 2019-03-21 Created: 2019-03-21 Last updated: 2019-03-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Discursos fronteiriços de jovens moçambicanos: A linguagem, as ideologias e as subjetividades na colonialidade contemporânea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discursos fronteiriços de jovens moçambicanos: A linguagem, as ideologias e as subjetividades na colonialidade contemporânea
2019 (Portuguese)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Discursive re(b)ordering of Young Mozambicans : Language, ideologies and subjectivities in contemporary coloniality
Abstract [en]

Why are we talking about coloniality in postcolonial times? And what does language have to do with it? In addressing these two broad questions, this thesis sets out to provide empirically well-grounded reflections focusing: First, on how young Mozambicans’ linguistic repertoires and discursive practices relate to their sense of being in the world. And second, on how their perceptions resonate with recent sociolinguistic debates about the different roles language and ideologies play in constructing and reproducing conditions of contemporary coloniality. The role of postcolonial Portuguese is particularly highlighted. The introduction provides a critical, decolonial and epistemic reflexion that brings together four seemingly disparate studies. Moreover, it offers an invitation to critically reflect on discourses, ideologies and valuations that are carried in and on our individual and collective historical bodies and minds and are reproduced through different manifestations of what I call ‘discursive re(b)orderings’. Study I, explores how Portuguese spoken in Maputo has changed after independence and underpins the inquiry into the ‘construct’ of linguistic boundaries and its relation to ideas of language purity and how these ideologically laden notions impact knowledge production and perceived and lived mobilities in the ‘postcolony’. Study II, displays ‘languaging’ practices of young Mozambicans and their strategic orientations in their social-spatial deployment of linguistic resources, and explores ‘translanguaging’ as discursive space production. Study III, brings Frantz Fanon into the study of sociolinguistics of subjectivity and explores the reflexes of the ‘other’ in the constitution of the self of young Mozambicans, suggesting that intersubjectivity holds the promise of disentangling Fanon´s notion of ‘sociogenese’. Study IV brings Pierre Bourdieu´s Distinction (1984) into the ‘postcolony’ by emulating his methodology through multilevel big picture data, combining quantitative and qualitative data and analyses with approaches inspired by ethnography to look at ‘positions and dispositions’ of young Mozambicans across fields and markets. Theoretically, the thesis brings Bourdieu and Fanon together, and shows how nexus concepts, intersubjectivity and the historical bodies and minds represent promising avenues to the understanding of language in coloniality. Two nexus concepts, the habitus and the sociogenese, are adopted and complement each other. By mixing methodologies, the studies combined, manage to capture the complexities in the multi-layered and often subtle ways discursive bordering constructs and reproduces contemporary coloniality. Empirically, taken together, the four studies show how ideologies, the ‘constructs’ surrounding language and the symbolic value of Portuguese are taken up in language and discourses and in speakers’ strategic deployment of linguistic resources across fields and marketplaces in the ‘postcolony’. Moreover, it shows how all forms of capital: epistemic, economic, educational, linguistic and symbolic are reconfigured and revaluated. Nevertheless, mobility is contained, and socioeconomic inequalities are mirrored in sociolinguistic inequalities and even in material urban space to the effect of perpetuating conditions of contemporary coloniality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Romance Studies and Classics, Stockholm University, 2019
Keywords
decoloniality, Frantz Fanon, Pierre Bourdieu, sociogenese, intersubjectivity, epistemic reflexivity, contemporary coloniality, nexus concepts, Mozambique, Portuguese, postcolony, symbolic value, habitus, linguistic repertories, forms of capital, knowledge production
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Romance Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167193 (URN)978-91-7797-670-7 (ISBN)978-91-7797-671-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-05-06, Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (Portuguese)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-04-11 Created: 2019-03-21 Last updated: 2019-04-10Bibliographically approved

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