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Rum för det "andra" modersmålet: Betydelser och konsekvenser av modersmålet som minoritetsspråk och transnationell språkgemenskap bland ungdomar med annat modersmål än svenska
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. (Forskarskolan i geografi)
2011 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Minority languages, bilingualism and linguistic integration among youth have gained a great dealof attention in research especially in times of migration, globalization and other activities crossingthe borders of nation-states. In this thesis the aim is to investigate different meanings associatedwith the mother tongue when this language is another than the majority language in the place ofresidence. This task is approached from a social geographical perspective. In the study, the termmother tongue is used in its widest sense, mostly defined by the choice of the informant.

In the introduction the concept mother tongue is on the one hand, looked upon and discussedin terms of a minority language in regard to the nation state and on the other, seen as a bordercrossing transnational speech community. In this way, a wide range of meanings can be illuminated.The analytical framework is discourse analysis, inspired by the work of Potter and Wetherellamong others, in the field of discursive psychology. The empirical data is made up by the transcriptsof semi-structured interviews with 13 students at two schools in the area of Stockholm,Sweden.

The result of the study is presented as five interpretative repertoires, showing the mother tongueas (1) belonging, (2) background, (3) heritage, (4) carrier and (5) everyday practice. The fiverepertoires are later analyzed for their spatial content in four spatial contexts: the national, themulticultural, the transnational and the diasporic context. They are defined and used as discursivelandscapes in which the different meanings of the repertoires are identified. The five repertoires areidentified in all spatial contexts except for the national context.

The findings show that the different meanings of the mother tongue represented by a certainindividual are negotiated in sometimes quite contradictive pieces of discourse. One implication isthat a specific meaning of the language does not equal an individual’s personal attitude or belief.The students seem to be very flexible in the association of different meanings to their mother tongue.The result further shows the value of a multi-scalar approach to investigations of the socialgeography of language. The ignorance of one social or spatial context will lead to the loss of a vitalpart of the language. This is crucial when discussing the mother tongue as a minority language oras a transnational speech community. Finally, there are reasons to be attentive of putting bilingualyouth in any social or spatial trap: national, multicultural, transnational or diasporic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet , 2011. , 109 p.
Keyword [en]
Mother tongue, interpretative repertoires, minority language, nationalism, multiculturalism, transnationalism and diaspora
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160865ISBN: 978-91-506-2244-7OAI: diva2:453326
Available from: 2011-11-16 Created: 2011-11-02 Last updated: 2013-01-18Bibliographically approved

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