Researching Language in Superdiverse Urban Contexts: Exploring Methodological and Theoretical Concepts

Edited by: Clare Mar-Molinero

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Multilingual Matters
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234mm x 156mm

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This book contributes to understanding research approaches for studying multilingualism in the context of contemporary superdiversity, in environments that are being dramatically transformed by transnational migration and movement of peoples. It explores language in urban contexts: the city as a site for experimentation and creativity in language practices. This involves considering theoretical frameworks in which to examine these practices, but above all, it focuses on how we do, or could do, research into these language practices and their users. What methodologies are we using to understand urban linguistic contexts? What do we want to learn? The chapters explore complex and challenging situations, capturing the evolution of new forms of language practice and changing attitudes to language in the city.

Mar-Molinero brings together a set of outstanding contributions which move us forward in our understanding of multilingualism in superdiverse urban contexts. The emphasis on methods and research reflexivity makes the volume a very useful tool for investigating language in some of the major cities in Latin America, France and the UK.

Melissa Moyer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

In its timely exploration of the relationship between urban multilingualism and transnational migration, this volume underlines the importance of interrogating the boundaries of the city and of language itself. Drawing on a wide range of multimodal and ethnographically informed methodologies, the contributors provide particularly insightful reflections on the role, repertoire and positionality of the researcher, which make this book a compelling and thought-provoking read for sociolinguists at all career stages.

Kristine Horner, University of Sheffield, UK

This book is a much-needed addition to the expanding literature on multilingualism in the city. It offers fascinating accounts of the sociolinguistic situations in a range of communities. It also develops innovative methodological approaches that will be very useful for future research on linguistic superdiversity in urban contexts.

Li Wei, University College London, UK

This edited volume is invaluable in many ways [...] With insightful methodological problem-solving, the authors in this volume unveil the sociological and anthropological foundations of language use and revitalize understandings of identity construction, linguistic ideologies, and broader power dynamics that emerge with language usages. Upon reading the book, one will discover it offers more insights than those this brief review honours.

Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2021

Clare Mar-Molinero is Professor of Spanish Sociolinguistics at the University of Southampton, UK. Her research interests include urban multilingualism, language policy, language ideologies, transnational migration, and language and globalisation – particularly in the Spanish-speaking world.

Introduction: Clare Mar-Molinero

Chapter 1. Clare Mar-Molinero: Researching Multilingual Urban Contexts

Chapter 2. Jessica Bradley & James Simpson: Translanguaging Across Space and Place: Concept and Context

Chapter 3. Leonie Gaiser & Yaron Matras:  Re-visiting 'Community Language': Arabic in a Western Global City

Chapter 4. Darren Paffey: Hispanic London: Language Ideologies, Policies and Practices

Chapter 5.  Petros Karatsareas: Uncovering Variation Within Urban Multilingualism

Chapter 6. Naomi Wells: Language and Transgenerational Identity in Valparaíso's Italian Community: Methodological and Theoretical Reflections

Chapter 7. Daniel McAuley and Janice Carruthers: Investigating Perceptions of Banlieue French: Problematising Theory and Methods

Chapter 8. Alfredo Escandón: Exploring Multilingualism in Urban Border Areas: The City of Tijuana

Conclusion: Clare Mar-Molinero


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