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Intergenerational Language Use and Acculturation of Turkish Speakers in Four Immigration Contexts


Kutlay Yağmur

Immigrant integration dominates the social, political, and scientific agendas of immigrant-receiving countries. Integration requires mutual co-ordinated efforts of both the host and immigrant groups. This book presents a macro level perspective on language maintenance, shift and acculturation orientations of Turkish immigrants in major immigration contexts, namely, Australia, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The findings show a close relationship between the integration ideology, policies and practices of the receiving societies and the acculturation outcomes of immigrants. Intergenerational differences in language use and choice as well as acculturation orientations of Turkish immigrants in the four national contexts have serious implications for policy makers and researchers.

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Chapter 2: Language Use, Choice, Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Acculturation Orientations


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Chapter 2:  Language Use, Choice, Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Acculturation Orientations

2.1  Introduction

Acculturation studies examine the cultural change taking place in language contact settings. Mostly, cross-cultural psychologists investigate the acculturation process of immigrants. In the majority of cases, acculturation studies are based on quantitative data with clear cut ethnic, religious and linguistic categories. Increasing social, religious and cultural conflicts between the host and immigrant groups put integration very high on the agenda of immigrant-receiving states. Social processes cannot be divorced from their socio-cultural contexts. Without a thorough understanding of the context of the situation, it would not be possible to uncover the dynamics causing these socio-cultural conflicts. In the European context, most of the conflicts reported in the media are related to migrant communities and their cultural practices. Immigrants and asylum seekers are constantly posed as aliens and invaders who threaten the integrity and homogeneity of national identity (Crowley & Hickman, 2008). For mainstream people, migration and migrants represent some kind of social and cultural threat and some politicians misuse the fear of outsiders to gain popularity and to increase their votes. When such politicians show migrants as threats to social cohesion and harmony in society, they appeal to the fears of common people to increase their votes. As a result, immigrants’ position as outsiders is strengthened in the public psyche and managing migration and promoting social cohesion appear to be a great challenge for policy makers in most European nation states....

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