Everyday Language Practices and the Interplay of Ideologies, Investment and Identities - Out-of-School Language Use and Dispositions among Young Adolescents in Multilingual Urban Settings in Sweden
This thesis explores the out-of-school language use of young adolescents in contemporary multilingual urban neighborhoods, located in the three largest cities in Sweden. More specifically, the thesis explores the potential interplay of out-of-school language use, language ideologies, investment in languages and identities. Dimensions of multilingualism have attracted wide scholarly interest, yet the knowledge about the out-of-school language use and encounters among this group of adolescents in connection to language ideologies and identities, is limited. Employing an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, three different instruments have been used (questionnaire, language diaries and interviews). The study was conducted between 2019–2021 with young adolescents (N=92) aged 11–14 at schools located in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Adopting a Bourdieusian approach, the notion of habitus, and the related pillars of capital and field, have guided the integrated analysis of the findings of the young adolescents’ practices and perceptions. Findings reveal patterns of young adolescents’ everyday use and encounters with Heritage Languages, Swedish, English and additional languages in a wide range of different activities and interactions. The patterns demonstrate a high prevalence of Swedish and English in most everyday activities. The use of Swe¬dish also dominates in interactions with siblings and friends whereas Heritage Languages tend to be more prevalent in interactional practices at home with parents and relatives. The findings also indicate how participants’ out-of-school language use is intertwined in various multifaceted ways with their language ideologies, investment in languages, identity constructions and linguistic sense of placement. While the language use patterns showed the distribution of languages in different activities and situations, integrated findings revealed underlying foundations of language practices and how the use of languages could be tied to several intersecting dimensions. The overall findings demonstrate how everyday language use and ideologies of languages play a vital role in shaping the young adolescents’ investment in languages, sense of placement and construction of identities. The findings in this thesis signify the importance of bridging the gap between home and school and for education to take a critical view on the role of language in educational equity. The young adolescents’ accounts and level of awareness signal the urgent need for education to take seriously how hierarchical relations of languages and language use impact young individuals’ perceptions of themselves, their imagined futures and sense of place in the social world.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Education
Department of Education and Special Education ; Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Fredagen den 2 december, kl. 9.00, Kjell härnqvistsalen, Hus A, Pedagogen, Göteborgs universitet
Date of defence
Gothenburg Studies in Educational Sciences / 472
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