Collective autonomy and multilingual spaces in super-diverse urban contexts: Interdisciplinary perspectives

Lamb, T. and Vodicka, G. 2018. Collective autonomy and multilingual spaces in super-diverse urban contexts: Interdisciplinary perspectives. in: Murray, G. and Lamb, T. (ed.) Space, Place and Autonomy in Language Learning Abingdon, Oxon and New York Routledge. pp. 9-28

Chapter titleCollective autonomy and multilingual spaces in super-diverse urban contexts: Interdisciplinary perspectives
AuthorsLamb, T. and Vodicka, G.
EditorsMurray, G. and Lamb, T.
Abstract

This chapter explores the themes of autonomy, space and place within linguistically super-diverse urban contexts. It argues that linguistic diversity is often perceived as a problem, particularly when the languages involved are those of minority ethnic communities, and that this can lead to exclusion of those languages not only from formal educational spaces but also from other public spaces. This invisibility means that negative dispositions towards multilingualism are perpetuated across the population and a ‘monolingual habitus’ is sustained. The authors reject this and argue that the multilingual city can nurture a plurilingual habitus.

Drawing on theories of autonomy, space and place from various disciplines and as they relate to contexts of resistance, the chapter highlights ways in which language communities are autonomously ensuring that their languages continue to be learnt and used within formal and informal urban spaces. This focus on autonomy as a political, collectivist construct is exemplified in reference to both community-led complementary schools and a multilingual festival organised by an autonomous network of organisations. The limitations of these activities, however, lead us to propose further participatory research with communities to enable them to reach beyond the locality, both to influence policy and to challenge the monolingual habitus.

Keywordscollective autonomy, multilingual spaces, space and place, habitus, hegemony, local neighbourhood spaces, resistance
Book titleSpace, Place and Autonomy in Language Learning
Page range9-28
Year2018
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published online09 Nov 2017
Place of publicationAbingdon, Oxon and New York
ISBN9781138656727
9781315621753

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