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Languaging and Social Positioning in Multilingual School Practices: Studies of Sweden Finnish Middle School Years
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1993-4404
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis is to examine young people’s languaging, including literacy practices, and its relation to meaning-making and social positioning. Framed by sociocultural and dialogical perspectives, the thesis builds upon four studies that arise from (n)ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two different settings: an institutional educational setting where bilingualism and biculturalism are core values, and social media settings.

In the empirical studies, micro-level interactions, practices mediated by languaging and literacies, social positionings and meso-level discourses as well as their intertwinedness have been explored and discussed. The data, analysed through adapted conversational and discourse analytical methods, include video and audio recordings, field notes, pedagogic materials, policy documents, photographs as well as (n)ethnographic data.

Study I illuminates the doing of linguistic-cultural ideologies and policies in everyday pedagogical practices and focuses on situated and distributed social actions as nexuses of several practices where a number of locally and nationally relevant discourses circulate.  In Study II, the focus is on everyday communicative practices on the micro and meso levels and the interrelations of different linguistic varieties and modalities in the bilingual-bicultural educational setting. Study III highlights young people’s languaging, including literacies, in everyday learning practices that stretch across formal and informal learning spaces. Study IV examines social positioning and identity work in informal and heteroglossic literacy practices across the offline-online continuum. Consequently, the four studies map the kinds of languaging practices young people are engaged in both inside and outside of what are labelled as bilingual school settings. Furthermore, the studies highlight the kinds of social positions they perform and are oriented towards in the course of their everyday lives.

Overall, the findings of the thesis highlight issues of bilingualism as pedagogy and practice, the (un)problematicity of multilingualism across space and time and multilingual-multimodal languaging as a premise for social positioning. Together, the studies and the thesis form a descriptive-analytical illustration of “multilingual” young people’s everyday lives in and out of school in late modern societies of the global North. Overall, the thesis provides insights concerning the education and lives of a large, yet sparsely documented minority group in Sweden, i.e. the Sweden Finns.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling fokuserar på ungdomars språkande, inklusive literacy-praktiker, och dess relation till deras meningsskapande och social positionering. Avhandlingen tar avstamp i sociokulturell och dialogisk teoribildning och bygger på fyra studier som blivit till genom (n)etnografiskt fältarbete i två olika sammanhang: inom en skola där tvåspråkighet och bikulturalitet är viktiga värderingar, och sociala medier.

I de empiriska studierna undersöks hur interaktion, språkande och literacy-praktiker och sociala positioneringar görs på mikronivå. Dessa fenomen studeras vidare i anslutning till och som en del av diskurser som drivs på meso-nivå. Avhandlingens data har analyserats med tillämpade samtals- och diskursanalytiska metoder och inkluderar video- och audioinspelningar, fältanteckningar, pedagogiska material, policy-dokumentation, fotografier samt (n)etnografiskt skapad data.

I Studie I undersöks hur lingvistisk-kulturella ideologier och policys görs i vardagliga pedagogiska praktiker. Den fokuserar på situerade och distribuerade sociala handlingar som praktiknexus där flera lokalt och nationellt relevanta diskurser cirkulerar. Studie II intresserar sig för vardagliga kommunikativa praktiker på mikro- och meso-nivåer samt för samspelet av språkliga varieteter och modaliteter i den tvåspråkiga-bikulturella skolan. I Studie III studeras ungdomars språkande, inklusive literacies, i vardagliga lärandepraktiker som sträcker sig över tid och rum i formella och informella lärandemiljöer. Studie IV fokuserar på social positionering och identitetsarbete i informella och heteroglossiska literacy-praktiker både offline och online. Tillsammans kartlägger de fyra studierna olika slags språkandepraktiker som ungdomarna deltar i och bidrar till både inom och utanför vad som kallas för tvåspråkiga skolsammanhang. Vidare illustrerar studierna vardagslivets görande av olika slags sociala positioneringar och identitetsperformanser.

Resultaten visar på hur tvåspråkigheten i skolans värld kan ses som både pedagogik och praktik, att flerspråkigheten är (o)problematisk för ungdomarna och för skolan och att språkandets karaktär som flerspråkig och multimodal är central för social positionering. Studierna och avhandlingen bildar tillsammans en deskriptiv-analytisk illustration av ”flerspråkiga” ungdomars vardag i och utanför skolan i ett senmodernt nordiskt samhälle. Vidare bidrar avhandlingen till kunskapsbasen gällande utbildningsfrågor och vardag för en av Sveriges nationella minoriteter, sverigefinländare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2016. , 159 p.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 205
Series
Mälardalen Studies in Educational Sciences, 26
Keyword [en]
languaging, social positioning, social interaction, sociocultural, dialogical, ethnography, bilingual education, multilingual, Sweden Finns
National Category
Didactics Specific Languages
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31774ISBN: 978-91-7485-274-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31774DiVA: diva2:934654
Public defence
2016-09-02, Beta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
LIMCULDIMuL
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-06-09 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Practiced linguistic-cultural ideologies and educational policies: A case study of a "bilingual Sweden Finnish School"
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Practiced linguistic-cultural ideologies and educational policies: A case study of a "bilingual Sweden Finnish School"
2016 (English)In: Journal of Language, Identity & Education, ISSN 1534-8458, E-ISSN 1532-7701, Vol. 15, no 6, 329-343 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores linguistic-cultural ideologies and educational policies as they emerge and are negotiated in everyday life in a bilingual school setting, located in the geopolitical spaces of Sweden. Taking sociocultural theory and discourse analysis as points of departure, we focus on empirical examples of classroom interaction and locally established formal policing. Linguistic-cultural ideologies and educational policies that frame life at the school are investigated by employing nexus analytical methods, focusing on social (inter)actions through which a number of locally and nationally relevant discourses circulate. Our findings indicate that refocusing ideology and policy research from the lens of a practiced perspective allows the situated and distributed nature of everyday life to inform issues related to bilingualism as well as their relations to wider societal discourses. Furthermore, our analysis highlights the crucial role of educators in (re)locating bilingual education in its societal contexts as well as making these connections visible in classrooms.

Keyword
social practices, everyday life, ethnography, nexus analysis, bilingual education, educational policy
National Category
Didactics Specific Languages
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31704 (URN)10.1080/15348458.2016.1217160 (DOI)000390106400001 ()2-s2.0-84987879343 (Scopus ID)
Projects
LIMCUL och DIMuL
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-06-03 Created: 2016-06-03 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
2. Young people's languaging and social positioning. Chaining in "bilingual" educational settings in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young people's languaging and social positioning. Chaining in "bilingual" educational settings in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Linguistics and Education, ISSN 0898-5898, E-ISSN 1873-1864, Vol. 24, no 4, 479-496 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study presented in this paper examines languaging in a “bilingual” school setting. The overall aim here is to explore young people's doing of multilingualism as well as social positioning in and through the everyday social practices where literacy is salient. Anchored in perspectives that highlight the social construction of reality, and located in the geopolitical space of Sweden, this study investigates an educational setting where Swedish and Finnish are used as the primary languages of instruction but where other linguistic varieties are present. In the paper, the analytically relevant concept of chaining is empirically illustrated through the analysis of ethnographically created data. These data include video recordings of classroom interaction and materials framed within the school diary literacy practice. The chained flow of various oral, written and multimodal varieties in human meaning-making is presented as an analytical finding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013
Keyword
languaging, classroom interaction, school diary, Sweden-Finnish school, learning, social positioning
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-23158 (URN)10.1016/j.linged.2013.06.002 (DOI)000209569400011 ()2-s2.0-84890436765 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-12-09 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Languaging in the twenty-first century: exploring varieties and modalities in literacies inside and outside learning spaces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Languaging in the twenty-first century: exploring varieties and modalities in literacies inside and outside learning spaces
2015 (English)In: Language and Education, ISSN 0950-0782, E-ISSN 1747-7581, Vol. 29, no 6, 509-526 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study presented in this paper focuses on young people’s languaging, or ways-with-being-with-words, including literacies, in everyday practices that stretch across formal and informal learning spaces. Taking sociocultural and ethnographic points of departure, the aim of the study is to investigate aspects of young people’s situated and distributed ways of engaging in knowledge production in academic “writing” genres, as well as their agency in relation to pedagogic goals as administered by teachers in these practices. Through analysis of data sets consisting of field notes, video recordings and particularly literacy data, the study presents analysis of three cases of students’ work in project-based learning and instructional tasks inside and outside a ‘bilingual-bicultural’ school setting. The paper puts forth a multi-dimensional analysis of communicative and learning practices and suggests refocusing scholarly interests of ‘multilingualism’ towards an examination of different dimensions of modalities and language varieties in languaging practices. The findings indicate that student agency is central in contributing to the shaping of the nature of their languaging across the interrelated dimensions of time and space. Furthermore, this study suggests that pedagogical practices in language, including literacy, classes need to be transformed and recontextualized in order to embrace student agency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2015
Keyword
languaging, multimodality, present-day literacies, learning, agency, learning spaces
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-30679 (URN)10.1080/09500782.2015.1053812 (DOI)000361701500003 ()2-s2.0-84942192905 (Scopus ID)
Projects
DiMUL
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-05 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
4. "Janne X was here". Portraying identities and negotiating being and belonging in informal literacy practices.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Janne X was here". Portraying identities and negotiating being and belonging in informal literacy practices.
2017 (English)In: Identity Revisited and Reimagined: Empirical and Theoretical Contributions on Embodied Communication Across Time and Space / [ed] Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Aase Lyngvær Hansen, Julie Feilberg, Springer, 2017, 1, 271-292 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study presented in this chapter examines young people’s identity work and informal literacy practices in two separate, yet intertwined settings: in a “bilingual” school context located in Sweden and a social network site. Drawing on sociocultural approaches and (n)ethnographic data, the main aim of the chapter is to expand understandings dealing with identity work and heteroglossic languaging, including informal literacy practices, in settings across the offline-online continuum. Through analysis of data sets consisting of video recordings, photographs and screen grabs, the concepts of languaging and identity-as-agency are explored from a discourse analytical perspective. The findings illustrate the ways in which interactions, agency and social positionings emerge at the intersection of people, discourses, spaces, practices and technologies. Portraying identity positions and negotiating being and belonging is possible in and through practices where multiple aspects of communicative repertoires and modalities are employed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017 Edition: 1
Keyword
Identities, informal literacy practices, languaging, heteroglossia, multimodality, agency, sociocultural theory, ethnography, netnography, offline-online, young people
National Category
Didactics Specific Languages
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31705 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-58056-2 (DOI)978-3-319-58055-5 (ISBN)978-3-319-58056-2 (ISBN)
Projects
LIMCUL och DIMuL
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-06-03 Created: 2016-06-03 Last updated: 2017-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Output format
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