Guest lecture

Dr. Janus Spindler Møller (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
will give a guest lecture on Youth language in superdiversity.

Date and time: Thursday November 29, 10.15 – 11.45 am
Place: C5 (main building)

In superdiverse societies (Vertovec 2007, Blommaert & Rampton 2011) people have increased access to cultural and linguistic resources associated with a range of different speakers, places, norms, meanings, etc. In the research project Minority Children and Youth: Language, School, and Other Settings we have documented how such resources are used, negotiated and evaluated by young Copenhageners in their everyday life. Using a school in a heterogeneous neighbourhood in Copenhagen as our point of departure, our research team followed (and follows) several groups of children and adolescents in their lived life inside as well as outside the school.

Drawing on data such as ethnographic diaries, sound recordings, Facebook exchanges, student essays about language and interviews, I will focus on two questions: (1) How are linguistic resources and indexicalities transferred to and among children and adolescents? (2) How does language become constructed, conventionalized, etc. through use and peer socialization? I analyze instances of languaging (Jørgensen et. al 2011) where the adolescents use the linguistic resources available in super-diverse settings for administration of social relations, playful categorizations, etc. Furthermore, I show how specific ways of speaking are enregistered (Agha 2007) and organized in metapragmatic systems. I argue that the adolescents develop strategies to deal with the conditions of superdiversity while they, at the same time, curiously and frequently use and play with linguistic features no matter what “groups” or what “languages” these features are thought to “belong” to. Finally I discuss if this study points to a dialectic relationship between superdiversity on the one hand and languaging practices on the other.

Agha, Asif (2007): Language and Social Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Blommaert, Jan & Ben Rampton: Language and Superdiversity. In : Diversities vol. 23 no. 2, 1-22.
Jørgensen, J. N., M. S. Karrebæk, L. M. Madsen, J. S. Møller (2011): Polylanguaging in Superdiversity. In: Diversities vol. 23 no. 2, 23-38.
Vertovec, Steven (2007): New complexities of cohesion in Britain: Super-diversity, transnationalism and civil-integration. Commission on Integration and Cohesion.


The lecture is open for all and no registration is required.
You’re all most welcome!
Organizer: ’Language and Superdiversity: (Dis)identification in Social Media’ project

On behalf of the organizers,
Elina Westinen