Professor Ingrid Piller, Macquaire University (Australien)
The Politics of Migrant Language Learning
Foregår via Scype
High levels of international migration are a major global characteristic of our time and many migrant-receiving countries struggle to ensure social cohesion and to balance the rights and responsibilities of old-timers and newcomers alike. As increasing diversity – or the perception of increasing diversity – has become enmeshed with security threats and rapid socio-economic transformation, many liberal democracies are struggling to prevent their societies from fraying. In these contexts, migrant integration has become highly politicized, and language learning and home language use have emerged as terrains of political debate. In these debates, language often serves as a proxy for ethnicity, race or religion, and is called upon by political actors who wish to take anti-immigrant but (seemingly) non-racist positions. In this lecture, I explore these processes of the politicization of language in migration contexts and examine their consequences.
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