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Multilingual Identities: New Global Perspectives

Du Bois, Inke / Baumgarten, Nicole (eds.)

Multilingual Identities: New Global Perspectives

Year of Publication: 2013

Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 179 pp., 1 b/w fig., 10 tables, 7 graphs
ISBN 978-3-631-62935-2 hb.  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.360 kg, 0.794 lbs

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Book synopsis

The contributions in this volume shed light on lived multilingualism around the globe. A small, but still representative selection of the multitude of migrant experiences, all studies share the intertwining of geographical mobility and non-mainstream linguistic practices which serves as a resource of agency and promotes alternative multiple identities of the immigrant speakers. This volume is based on the two core tenets of sociolinguistic identity research. First, it accepts the idea that identities or sub-identities are in a sense pre-given and can be formulated through membership categories. Second, identities are viewed as being enacted and performed, thus constituting social realities. In the social construction of identity, national and linguistic boundaries dissolve. The originating countries of the participants (and/or their ancestors) in the studies of this volume include Argentina, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia, Russia, Morocco, the Phillipines, Korea, Kazakhstan, Suriname and India. The countries of immigration include Germany, the USA, Israel, France and the Netherlands.


Contents: Inke Du Bois/Nicole Baumgarten: Introduction: New questions in research on multilingual identities in migration contexts – Susanne Günthner: Communicative practices among migrant youth in Germany: «Insulting address forms» as a multi-functional activity – Janet M. Fuller: Made in Berlin: Bilingualism and identity among immigrant and German-background children – A. Lane Igoudin: Asian American girls who speak African American English: A subcultural language identity – Katharina Meng/Ekaterina Protassova: Deutsche or rusaki? Transformations of the cultural self-conceptions after (r)emigration – Dipika Mukherjee: Loving Bollywood and being Dutch: Language choice and identity issues among Surinamese-Hindustani women in Amsterdam – Heike Baldauf-Quilliatre: The role of public opinion in argumentation: Immigrants in the French radio broadcast Là-bas si j’y suis – Inke Du Bois: «And then I had to hold my first Referat on Beethoven as a politischer Mensch»: Multilingual identities and L1 language loss of US Americans in Germany – Dafna Yitzhaki/Carmit Altman/Zhanna Feldman-Burstein/Leor Cohen/Joel Walters: Indigenous and immigrant identities in multilingual Israel: Insights from focus groups and discourse analysis.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Inke Du Bois studied English and Spanish Linguistics at the universities of Kiel (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain). She received her MA in English Linguistics from San Francisco State University (USA) and her doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Hamburg University (Germany). She currently works as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Bremen. Her research interests include multilingualism, youth migrant ethnolect and linguistic profiling in urban settings.
Nicole Baumgarten studied English Philology, Modern and Medieval History, and Law at the universities of Kiel and Aberdeen (UK) and Sociology at the University of Hamburg. She received her MA degree in English Philology from the University of Kiel and her Dr. phil. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hamburg. She currently holds a position as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern Denmark at Sønderborg. Her research interests lie in the areas of non-native English and English as a Lingua Franca, identity construction in L2 discourse and language contact.


«Du Bois and Baumgarten provide a measured and effective analysis of increasing global multilingualism, and their book acts as an excellent source of cutting-edge social research to stimulate discussion in classrooms and research centres alike.» (Zuzana Elliott, The Linguist List 06/2014)