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Game changers? Multilingual learners in a Cape Town primary school
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism. University of the Western Cape, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8239-524X
2014 (English)In: Applied Linguistics, ISSN 0142-6001, E-ISSN 1477-450XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article engages with Bourdieu’s notion of field as a ‘space of play’ to explore what happens to the educational field and the linguistic regimes operating within it in a site in which new discourses and practices of identity, language, ‘race’, and ethnicity become entangled with local economies of meaning. The context is a primary school in a low-income neighbourhood in Cape Town, South Africa. We draw on multilingual classroom and playground data from observations, interviews, and audio-recorded peer interactions among Grade 6 learners to illuminate the strategic mobilization of linguistic repertoires in encounters across difference: as identity-building resources and as means of shaping new interaction orders, restructuring hierarchies of value, subverting indexicalities, and sometimes resignifying racial categories. We further draw attention to a set of circumstances in which local actors have the potential to change, not only the rules of the game, but the game itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Linguistic Ethnography, multilingualism, identity, ethnicity, race, ideology, language policy, education, cultural production, field, habitus, postcolonial, Bourdieu, South Africa, primary school
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109067DOI: 10.1093/applin/amu044OAI: diva2:762235
Multilingualism and identities in and out of school: Urban youth on the Cape Flats
Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-11 Last updated: 2015-12-09Bibliographically approved

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Kerfoot, Caroline
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