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ERIC Number: EJ995804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Registers, Schools and Scales: Comments on Language and Identity in Twenty-First Century Catalonia
Gal, Susan
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v16 n2 p225-229 2013
Monolingual speakers of a national language continue to be the ideal figures on which national identities and senses of community are built. Yet this longstanding equation between nation and language is being contested by other ideologies. Alternatives are emerging from such disparate social locations as the European Union, now advocating for trilingualism as the mark of the "truly" European (Gal 2012), and urban schools and neighborhoods like those described in this issue. Significantly, Barcelona lies at the intersection of several scales of political organization, each with language policies that arise from and impact ideologies and practices. As an economically dynamic urban center with a flow of increasingly diverse immigration, it is located within an autonomous (and linguistically distinct) community, in a large state that has a linguistic project of its own, and is itself a member of the European Union, with its own language policies. The articles in this special issue show that friendship networks, neighborhoods and schools can be differently located within this matrix. Comparisons across such institutional contexts can be further aligned with comparisons over time (enabled by the high quality of earlier fieldwork), thereby illuminating how various factors contribute to change. But scale is not only a matter of political organization and policy but also of perspectives in interaction: How speakers locate themselves vis-a-vis their interlocutors, as they inhabit person-types that are imagined within envelopes of space-time (chronotopes). Of the many interrelated phenomena described in these articles, the author focuses on three: (1) the creation of new registers in schools; (2) the limitations of schools as sites for sociolinguistic research; and (3) a matter of perspective: how informants seem to have their eyes on varying scales of comparison and judgment when they evaluate the social significance of their own and others' linguistic practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain (Barcelona)