Language and identity beyond the mainstream. Democratic and equity issues for and by whom, where, when and why
Special aspects of education
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AbstractTaking a point of departure in multidisciplinary research related to ethnicity, gender and functional dis/ability, this paper presents a conceptual framework where center staging languaging and identity-positionings are central. Building upon empirically framed results from ethnographical projects across timespaces, it discusses how languaging opens possibilities for discussing learning and identity-positionings that take place in and via the deployment of one or more language varieties and modalities. This is conceptually made possible by going beyond dominating, dichotomizing positions related to language, language learning methods, and the organization of language learning. The study argues that scholars inherit and live with dichotomizing positions within scholarship that in turn create specific framings for children and adults in institutions for learning. The paper discusses the case of research and the organization of language issues related to bilingualism and diversity education as specific instances of a dominating dichotomy. It illustrates how going beyond this dichotomy makes visible languaging and identity-positionings that open new ways of understanding participation and inclusion. Such a position builds upon critical humanistic thinking where sociocultural and decolonial framings are central. Going beyond the mainstream allows for new ways of conceptualizing research in the areas of language and identity where social practices are center staged. To make visible languaging thus implies that issues related to identity are focused in terms of performative processes.