|Title||Multilingual practices in a disavowed community: The case of new Italian migrants in London|
This thesis aims to investigate the linguistic repertoires of new Italian migrants in London and the multilingual practices in which they engage. Italian mass emigration has re-started after the 2008 economic crisis. This new migration continues a long tradition: Italians migrated en masse after the country’s unification and after the Second World War. In the UK, they mainly emigrated after the Second World War to industrial towns, such as Bedford. In contrast, London has become the favourite destination of the post-2008 crisis wave. In the last decade, scholars focused on the social differences between past and new migrants, while the last linguistic study on the Italian community in London was carried out in the 1990s and thus it does not cover the new wave. The research presented here is an attempt to fill this gap. Recorded data collected through ethnographic observations of social gatherings organised by new migrants are presented to show how they engage with translanguaging. Interview data are also used to further explore and better understand participants’ multilingual practices and their ideologies on those. One recurring aspect emerges from both the data sources. Participants’ disavow their national community. They often negotiate the traditional understanding of ethnic and national community by challenging or denying their belonging to the Italian community in London. Nevertheless, informants acknowledge the existence of an in-group style, used by them and by other new migrants, characterised by the possibility of translanguaging. Translanguaging is adopted to negotiate and perform new identities, and to identify the other, who cannot be included in translanguaging practices. Participants demonstrate their membership in (or disaffiliation from) the group through the agreement (or disagreement) with the group style. This seems a challenge to the a priori labelling system based on ethnicity and migratory status, which may be seen as an analytical issue for the study of new transnational and mobile migrant communities.
|Keywords||Italian community, Multilingualism, Italian migration, Identities, Translanguaging|
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