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ERIC Number: EJ1407354
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8507
EISSN: EISSN-1613-3684
Navigating Whiteness from the Margins: Finnish, Somali, and Arabic Speakers' Experiences of Racialization, (In)Visibility, and (Im)Mobility in Gothenburg, Sweden
Maria Löfdahl; Johan Järlehed; Daniel Wojahn; Tommaso M. Milani; Tove Rosendal; Helle Lykke Nielsen
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v43 n1 p119-150 2024
This paper examines the relationship between language, (in)visibility, and (im)mobility in racialized spaces, focusing on Finnish, Somali, and Arabic speakers in Sweden. Using a theoretical framework based on hegemonic whiteness and intersectionality, the study explores how multilingual practices and subjectivities intersect with race, religion, gender, and class to shape social visibility and mobility. The research draws on linguistic ethnographic data, including interviews, linguistic landscape documentation, and an analysis of the media discourse. The study finds that while Finnish speakers have become invisible due to assimilation policies, Somali and Arabic speakers are hypervisible in Swedish public spaces and discourse, although Arabic speakers are sometimes, and in relation to other migrants, nearing Swedish whiteness. However, all three languages and their speakers are constrained by a white normativity that reproduces inequality. The paper challenges simplistic notions of mobility/immobility and visibility/invisibility in the context of a changing racial order in Sweden, where whiteness serves as a binary sorting mechanism that perpetuates inequality. Overall, this research sheds light on the complex entanglement of language, visibility, and mobility in white spaces and contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the intersectional dynamics of race and language.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A