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ERIC Number: EJ1129069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1461-0213
The Reflexive Imperative among High-Achieving Adolescents: A Flemish Case Study
Van Lancker, Inge
AILA Review, v29 p114-140 2016
The socio-cultural conditions of late modernity induce a "reflexive imperative" amongst young people, which also results in metapragmatic and metalinguistic behaviour, as has been demonstrated by linguistic ethnographers (LE). However, recent LE studies on reflexivity in Western European settings have mainly focused on how groups of socially low-status, geographically mobile and multilingual youth are involved in creative linguistic processes in which the disapproval of their linguistic hybridity is denounced. In this paper, based on a linguistic-ethnographic study, I will uncover the influence of the reflexive imperative on a different group: six high-achieving, white, elite, male, adolescent pupils in Flemish Belgium. Through a micro-analysis of their metacommentaries and speech practices, I describe the subtle metalinguistic and metapragmatic moves of the pupils, which demonstrate their attitude towards standard language use at school. An analysis of these boys' linguistic reflexivity demonstrates a complex attitude towards Standard Dutch and Standard Language Ideology: at first sight, they seem to incline towards linguistic equality, resulting in a relaxation of the standard norm. However, an analysis of the more indirect metapragmatic practices of these boys reveals how they strategically use the symbolic capital of Standard Dutch, a practice which echoes the Flemish language-in-education policy and might serve to preserve (or prepare) their (future) elite position in society.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A