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Language issues and phenomena in academe

Goal: A better understanding of theme as stated in the project title

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Luke Holmes
added a research item
Drawing on the ethico-political framework of hospitality, this paper investigates the communicative practices of three administrative support staff as they attempt to manage the twin challenges of working in adherence to state and institutional language policies while communicating ethically in an internationalising workplace. Academic administrative staff rarely feature in studies on internationalisation yet are crucial to understanding the complex day-to-day realities of contemporary university life. Empirically, this study reports on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork, including observations, interviews, and email records. The data demonstrate language work being carried out on an ethical basis, before the consideration of any particular languages, beyond the participants’ political obligations, and in excess of institutional support. The current national and institutional responses to the multilingual realities of Swedish university life, I argue, are failing to do justice to and facilitate the ethically grounded, bottom-up language policy-making as practised by this study’s participants. This paper thus promises to open up debate on hospitality within language policy and planning for internationalising Higher Education, and, in its re-evaluation of the ethical and political dimensions of hospitality, it emphasises the framework’s critical potential within sociolinguistic research, more generally.
Linus Salö
added a research item
In this chapter we examine the value held by national languages, here Swedish, in the scholarly career trajectories in non-Anglophone countries. To this end, we analyse the language policies of Swedish higher education institutions and the narrated perceptions of two international recruits. Adopting Pierre Bourdieu’s distinction between scientific and academic capital, we argue that Swedish language skills constitute a vital asset in processes of accruing power in Sweden’s scientific world. Hence, as we maintain, English is not all that matters, despite internationalization being high on the agenda.
Linus Salö
added a research item
This study presents a sociolinguistics of academic publishing in historical as well as in contemporary times. From the perspective of Swedish academia, it unites a wide range of scholarly knowledge, including perspectives from the sociology of science, history of science and ideas, and research policy. The study focuses on publishing practices in the empirical realities of two disciplinary fields, history and psychology. Drawing on facts and figures from publishing practices as well as interviews, the study argues that English is currently making inroads into the field of history, in line with and aided by the field-external power of new regimes of research evaluation and performance-based funding impinging on the university field at large. In the field of history, unlike in psychology, the English language is thus currently a weapon since it provides access to international publishing markets where new forms of scientific authority can be obtained. This option seems to be most compelling for junior scholars seeking to enter the field. Following Bourdieu, publishing in English is here interpreted as pertaining to a social strategy, enacted in pursuit of investing differently, so as to subvert the order of the historical field.
Linus Salö
added 4 research items
It has often been claimed that English has emerged as the lingua franca of teaching and research at universi- ties across the globe. This entry provides an overview of language use within higher education internationally, with a particular view to highlighting conditions within the human sciences—that is, the social sciences and the humanities. The entry centres on English as the medium of research, understood primarily as publishing, and English medium instruction (EMI). It begins by providing a brief historical overview.
This chapter presents a sociological account of the language ideological representations underpinning discourses about perceived threats from English in Sweden. The objective is to contextualize the conceptual history of “domain loss” within Sweden’s field of language planning, in conjunction with crossing discourses about minority languages and EU membership. With Bourdieu, the safeguarding of Swedish is comprehended as linked to struggles where the role of the nation-state is set in flux, opening up linguistic markets beyond its control. As a product of the relation between agents’ habitus and the field, domain loss has served to legitimize discourses about the disestablishment of the national language regime, which is interpreted as a strategy to defend the market into which agents have invested capital.
Språkpolitikbloggen, Institutet för språk och folkminnen
Linus Salö
added a research item
This article utilizes Bourdieu's sociology to grasp the relations between linguistic practice and spatiality, and, through that effort, to position language as a pivotal terrain in internationalizing academe. Empirically, it explores Swedish academe and the linguistic practices of its dwellers: Swedish-speaking and non-Swedish-speaking researchers in four disciplines. Here, Swedish co-exists with English as a lingua franca and other languages. Observational and interview data show that this situation gives rise to complex linguistic practices in the workplace, consisting of speakers alternating between Swedish and English or evading other languages. Following Bourdieu, these phenomena manifest in moments when matters of space are rendered salient. They show that linguistic practice is bound up with space to the extent that their interrelationship becomes discernable only when the spatial logic that confines linguistic practices is rejigged. While linguistic practices seemingly operate on a location-based principle, they actually pertain to speakers’ linguistic habitus in relation to the linguistic market conditions in play. (Linguistic practice, space, internationalizing academe)*
Linus Salö
added a research item
In this paper we examine the value held by national languages, here Swedish, in the scholarly career trajectories in non-Anglophone countries. To this end, we analyze the language policies of Swedish higher education institutions and the narrated perceptions of two international recruits. Adopting Pierre Bourdieu's distinction between scientific and academic capital, we argue that Swedish language skills constitute a vital asset in processes of accruing power in Sweden's scientific world. Hence, as we maintain, English is not all that matters, despite internationalization being high on the agenda.
Linus Salö
added 2 research items
Det centrala mediet för vetenskaplig produktion har sedan länge varit text. Med tiden har särskilt tidskriftsartikeln blivit den dominerande skriftliga genren.
Det finns ett uppenbart glapp mellan forskarvärldens globala diskussion på engelska och det nationella kunskapssamhället som, flerspråkighet till trots, uppbärs på och av svenska. En klok språkpolitik för högskolesektorn bygger på denna insikt, och planlägger om publiceringsspråk och undervisningsspråk på pragmatiska, ändamålsenliga vis.
Linus Salö
added 19 research items
This chapter introduces the principles of Bourdieu’s relational sociology of science . The scientific field is depicted as a locus of struggle between agents with differing symbolic and material assets. This chapter accounts conceptually for the interests, strategies, and investments of those who act in scientific fields: Homo Academicus. It also makes salient the struggles between newcomers and dominant agents as a key facet of scientific fields. It is proposed that understanding language choice entails understanding discipline-specific values. Bourdieu’s idea of ‘relational thinking’ brings forth the understanding that discipline-specific values have two modes of existence: in disciplinary fields and in field agents—that is, researchers. The chapter explicates how this conception is translated into the study’s design and provides information on the study’s procedure and dataset.
This chapter presents the first part of the empirical material drawn on in this book: historical data. It presents a historical sociolinguistics of science from the viewpoint of Swedish academic life. It begins by providing a broad historical description of language use in the early days of Swedish academic life. Subsequently, a more detailed account of publishing language is presented through the histories of two disciplinary fields: history and psychology. It is shown that Swedish dominated the historical field from the time it established itself as an autonomous field in its own right. The field of psychology , for the most part, used Swedish in publishing up until the post-war era, when English swiftly gained currency as the language used for written scientific production.
Linus Salö
added a project goal
A better understanding of theme as stated in the project title