Project

From contact zones to spaces of upset

Goal: Funded by The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS), this project explores the sociolinguistics of multilingualism in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

The original application was titled ”Contact zones in the Nordic countries: multilingualism, mobility, and diversifying diversity”, and included scholars from the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Copenhagen and Stockholm University. Responding to the goals of the project, workshops were organized (2017–2020) in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Jyväskylä, engaging the following invited discussants and plenary speakers: Professor Karel Arnaut, Professor Monica Heller and Professor Brigitta Busch. Insights gained through that work materialized eventually in a special issue — ”Spaces of upset in the Nordic region: Sociolinguistics beyond cohesion and consensus in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden” — to appear in the May issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language (no 275, edited by Salö, Karlander, Leppänen & Westinen).

The following scholars were included in the original application. From the University of Jyväskylä team: Sirpa Leppänen (grant holder) Samu Kytölä, Elina Westinen, Saija Peuronen, Piia Jäntti, and Sonya Sahradyan. From the University of Copenhagen team: Janus Spindler Møller, Martha Karrebæk, Lian Malai Madsen Andreas Stæhr, Thomas Rørbeck Nørreby, and Astrid Ag. From the Stockholm University team: Christopher Stroud, Caroline Kerfoot, Natalia Ganuza, Linus Salö, David Karlander, and Linnea Hanell. Other scholars, e.g. Heini Lehtonen, Maria Rydell, Marta Kirilova and Luke Holmes and others, joined in as the project proceeded.

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Project log

Linus Salö
added a research item
This article explores upset reactions to purportedly deviant language use in the newsroom of the Swedish public service television company SVT. Adopting a historical gaze to contemporary struggles, it focuses on the news anchor Dina Haddad (an alias selected by me for the sake of anonymity) and the injurious, bigoted complaints she receives from detractors by virtue of speaking Swedish with a foreign accent. Through historical contextualization, the article casts Swedish public service television as a system of sociolinguistic closure, sustained through individual and institutional efforts of correction. Conceptually, it invokes the image of the skeptron to illustrate how linguistic authority is exerted through an interplay between delegators and holders. Against this backdrop, drawing on interview data and a selection of scornful emails, Haddad’s broadcast appearance is grasped as indexing the symbolic recognition of unsolicited change. Her foreign accent is perceived as revealing the countervailing upset of sociolinguistic closure, sanctioned by the establishment. For detractors, this is at once a critique against the skeptron-delegator, SVT, and the skeptron-bearer, Haddad. While the verbal attacks she receives are more about social change than language per se, I argue that the efficacy of producing linguistic complaints pertains to SVT’s historical role in sustaining doctrines of correctness.
Linus Salö
added 2 research items
Special Issue of International Journal of the Sociology of Language (275) https://www.degruyter.com/journal/key/ijsl/2022/275/html
This introductory article opens the thematic issue Spaces of Upset in the Nordic Region. It introduces the contributions of the issue, outlines the concepts that unite them, and discusses the sociolinguistic area in which they are set: the Nordic region. Centering on Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the article offers an overview of some of the sociolinguistic, ideological and political characteristics of the region and the countries it comprises. The Nordic region is widely seen as a paradigm case of social stability, consensus and cohesion. This vision is, however, a mirage. To be sure, upset often lingers below the discursive veneer of Nordic harmony, concord and agreement. Breaking with this outlook, this thematic issue takes a closer look at some of the antipodes of this sociolinguistic and ideological condition. Its contributions engage with ‘spaces of upset’, that is, with manifestations and experiences of sociolinguistic rupture, upheaval or change, in and through which visions of sociolinguistic stability and cohesion are disrupted and challenged. These spaces of upset bear witness to social, ideological and linguistic tensions and changes, be they incipient, enduring or surpassed. They accordingly provide a new take on processes of continuity and change, pointing out the ideological faultlines of the orders they disrupt, or upset.
Linus Salö
added an update
Special Issue: Spaces of upset in the Nordic region: Sociolinguistics beyond cohesion and consensus in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 275.
Issue Editors: Linus Salö, David Karlander, Sirpa Leppänen and Elina Westinen
Contents
Linus Salö, David Karlander, Sirpa Leppänen, Elina Westinen and Janus Spindler Møller: Introduction: spaces of upset in the Nordic region
Martha Sif Karrebæk and Marta Kirilova: Chaos in court: mediatized expressions of upset in relation to Danish courtroom interpreting
Linus Salö: Broadcasting the skeptron: the upset of sociolinguistic closure in Swedish public service television
Heini Lehtonen and Janus Spindler Møller: We just want the language tone: when requests to use minority languages lead to interactional breakdown in multilingual classrooms
Maria Rydell and Linnea Hanell: Language for work and work for language: linguistic aspirations in the marketing of domestic work
Lian Malai Madsen: Media panic, medical discourse and the smartphone
Sirpa Leppänen and Elina Westinen: Sociolinguistic upsets and people of color in social media performances
Monica Heller: Nordicity, language and the nation-state
 
Linus Salö
added a project goal
Funded by The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS), this project explores the sociolinguistics of multilingualism in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
The original application was titled ”Contact zones in the Nordic countries: multilingualism, mobility, and diversifying diversity”, and included scholars from the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Copenhagen and Stockholm University. Responding to the goals of the project, workshops were organized (2017–2020) in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Jyväskylä, engaging the following invited discussants and plenary speakers: Professor Karel Arnaut, Professor Monica Heller and Professor Brigitta Busch. Insights gained through that work materialized eventually in a special issue — ”Spaces of upset in the Nordic region: Sociolinguistics beyond cohesion and consensus in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden” — to appear in the May issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language (no 275, edited by Salö, Karlander, Leppänen & Westinen).
The following scholars were included in the original application. From the University of Jyväskylä team: Sirpa Leppänen (grant holder) Samu Kytölä, Elina Westinen, Saija Peuronen, Piia Jäntti, and Sonya Sahradyan. From the University of Copenhagen team: Janus Spindler Møller, Martha Karrebæk, Lian Malai Madsen Andreas Stæhr, Thomas Rørbeck Nørreby, and Astrid Ag. From the Stockholm University team: Christopher Stroud, Caroline Kerfoot, Natalia Ganuza, Linus Salö, David Karlander, and Linnea Hanell. Other scholars, e.g. Heini Lehtonen, Maria Rydell, Marta Kirilova and Luke Holmes and others, joined in as the project proceeded.