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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)*
The spatial logic of linguistic practice: Bourdieusian inroads into
language and internationalization in academe
Stockholm University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
This article utilizes Bourdieus sociology to grasp the relations between lin-
guistic 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 connes linguistic practices is rejigged. While linguistic practices
seemingly operate on a location-based principle, they actually pertain to
speakerslinguistic habitus in relation to the linguistic market conditions in
play. (Linguistic practice, space, internationalizing academe)*
Internationalization struggles: Language about and in academic life
The nineteenth-century chemist Louis Pasteur once said that Le savant a une patrie,
la science nen a pas the scientist has a homeland, science does not(quote from
Merton 1942=1973:272). In hindsight, this precept may be seen as a position-taking
in the struggles weighing over theworld of academe, which has long been caught in
a tug-of-war between nationalizing and denationalizing forces, each laden with in-
terest and power (Crawford, Shinn, & Sörlin 1993). Such struggles remain unsettled
to this day, and the ramications they hold thus linger in contemporary struggles of
university politics. In fact, Pasteurs dictum is occasionally utilized as a trope in
meta-science debates on global solutions and challenges, internationalization of re-
search and innovation, and the like.
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In academe globally, internationalization is, at the same time, a strategic signal
word and an essential feature of reality, affecting all of those active within it (e.g.
Dubois, Gingras, & Rosental 2016). Often, internationalization struggles outweigh
language and the question of linguistic legitimacy in the academic world. Language
in this realm of society is the primary object of the present article, which, using
Pierre Bourdieus sociological framework, focuses on Swedish academe. Fittingly
enough, for Bourdieu academic language use was an early knowledge-interest
(Bourdieu, Passeron, & De Saint Martin 1965=1994) that would have a formative
inuence on his intellectual agenda. The task of exploring this object is here
resumed, albeit readjusted and rescoped to center on the contemporary academic
dweller, and the type of oscillating linguistic practices ushered in by todays glob-
alizing conditions.
Indeed, for analysts of language in society, academeour own worldlends itself
to an interesting inquiry. There is, on the one hand, ample language ABOUT the inter-
nationalization of academic life, which typically seeks to represent the state of affairs
in ways that make certain policy measures seem urgent. In Swedish policy struggles,
the question of language legitimacy hinges upon representations of whether universi-
ties are national or international at heart. In science policy (SP), internationalization
is a much-desired ambition, believed to increase research quality and strengthen
Swedens position in global competition. Here, internationalization is also believed
to align with a return to a set of authentic values held by the academic world, such
as Mertonian norms of scientic universalism and internationalism. Recently, for
example, the governmental Inquiry of Internationalization prefaced its rst report
by asserting that The activities of higher education are international by nature(Min-
istry of Education and Research 2018:31) and, from this vantage point, encouraged
greater use of Englishin Swedish academe. This position clashes with the stance stan-
dardly proposed in the adjacent eld of language planning and policy (LPP). There, it
is accentuated that Swedish universities are nationally embedded and societally rele-
vant, a fact that speaks in favor of restraining the dominance of English by a parallel
exchange of knowledge through Swedish. Correspondingly, governmental LPP
reports (e.g. Ministry of Culture 2008) often depict university life as a domain of
society where Swedish must not be sidestepped.
On the other hand, there is language IN academic life, which oftentimes owes its
characteristics to internationalization. Here, scholars of language in society can
make an important contribution by positioning language as the central terrain on
which internationalization strugglesplay out, and one of the most salient arenas
for the manifestation of internationalization in academe. By examining academic
language use OUTSIDE the Anglophone world, a better understanding can be
gained about the imbrications of linguistic market conditions that are characteristic
of internationalizing academe. Such an understanding may help us grasp the extent
to which science is detached from national surroundings in the sense purportedly
envisioned by Pasteur and subsequently proclaimed in SP discourse, or whether
more volatile orders are at play.
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As a case in point, academics working at Swedish universities predominantly
use English for a range of academic practices, such as publishing, teaching, and
reading. This situation is amplied by an agenda of internationalizing academic
life through increased human mobility: universities recruit staff from all over the
world, a fact that further augments English use in the workplace. Nonetheless, all
of this happens in an internationalizing yet nationally conditioned spacea nation-
statewhere Swedish has long prevailed and still holds an important position. Sub-
sequently, like elsewhere beyond the English-speaking world, Swedish-speaking
scholars navigate between the lingua franca, English, and the national language,
Swedish. In the workplace, this situation habitually results in alterations in linguis-
tic practice, in ways that owe their characteristics to spatiality. Consider the follow-
ing observation in (1).
(1) (eldnotes, computer science)
Six computer scientists are sitting in a meeting room, outlining a forthcoming project.
They use English, a language that all participants master, and the language used in the
project draft, which is gradually taking shape. The primary rationale for using English
rather than Swedish at themeeting is that one participant neither speaks nor understands
Swedish sufciently well. But, eventually the non-Swedish speaker leaves the meeting
room for a few minutes. Without any sort of commentary, the remaining ve scientists
immediately drift into Swedish while continuing to discuss the same topic. They use
Swedish until the non-Swedish-speaking scientist returns, after which they drift
(almost crossfade) back into English.
How does one account for the logic of this linguistic practice, occurring as it does
in a single physical space? How does one account for the fact that the linguistic prac-
tice observed seems bound to the bodily movementthe absences and presences
of users of particular languages? What kinds of knowledge do such practices entail
on the part of the participating researchers, allowing them to seamlessly rejig their
understanding of what it means to produce language appropriate to the situation?
Beyond sharing a language-as-system, it is clear that the colleagues share
routine ways of acting, similar perspectives, a sense of space, or common ways
of evaluating speech(Hanks 1996:13). If so, what are the constituents of this
sense of spaceand how is such a sense to be accounted for theoretically? How
are these situations experienced by non-Swedish speakers, and how can their rela-
tion to linguistic practice vis-à-vis space be accounted for?
This article ponders such questions. It is essentially concerned with language
choice: the organization of linguistic assets in multilingual spaces. In particular I
am concerned with the effects that space, in all its intricacy, brings to bear on lin-
guistic practices, and the linguistic strategies such practices entail. The objective is
to account for the ways in which linguistic practices owe their characteristics to
spatial conditions in Swedish academe, and the practical sense that socialized lan-
guage users have of themselves and the value-infused environments they inhabit.
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To this end, I seek to advance an understanding of linguistic practices in internation-
alizing academe as occurring between peoples social and physical environments,
so as to better grasp the spatial logic sustained through language in this realm of
society. Whereas previous related work (e.g. Salö 2015) privileges the viewpoint
of Swedish speakers, the present article encompasses additionally the viewpoint
of non-Swedish speakers, whose perspectives are of pivotal value for the under-
standing of internationalizing academe. Being a Swedish speakerin this sense
is neither a national or ethnic category, nor does it necessarily pertain to a notion
of native speakerhood. Rather, Swedish speakersdenote language users whose
knowledge of Swedish is deemed sufcient by others for Swedish to be socially
enabled, and so include rst-language as well as second-language speakers of
Swedish. Accordingly, a non-Swedish speakeris a speaker whose knowledge
of Swedish is deemed limited to the extent that use of Swedish in the workplace
is ruled out.
To account for these dynamics, I draw on Bourdieus sociological theory of lin-
guistic practice, which is fairly well-known among sociolinguists (e.g. Hanks 2005;
Blommaert 2015; Salö 2018), combined with his arguably lesser known theory of
spatiality. The upshot of this two-fold theoretical endeavor is that matters of lan-
guage and space can be viewed through a comprehensive lens apt for exploring
what Bourdieu (1977:89) calls the relationship between the body and a space,
or what Ingold terms the RELATIONS between the dweller and the constituents of
the dwelt-in world(2000:409).
Along these lines, I hope to advance the discussion concerning the position held
by English in internationalizing academe by contributing to a rened understanding
of the relations between academic knowledge production, language, and location.
Moreover, I seek to present, and make the case for, Bourdieu as a spatial thinker rel-
evant to scholarship on language in society. By outlining and showcasing Bourdieus
sociological perspectives and thinking-tools, I aim to contribute to recent theoretical
discussions on the ways that space organizes language regimes, how spaces are
sensed and engendered in practice, and how speakers shuttle between spaces, align-
ing their language practicesto the values imbued therein (e.g. Blommaert, Collins, &
Slembrouck 2005; Canagarajah 2013; Pennycook & Otsuji 2015). In so doing, I also
seek to probe deeper into the linguistic sense of placement(Bourdieu 1991)ofac-
ademic dwellers. Utilizing this notion, I endeavor to make the case for linguistic
choice as spatially ordered in ways that are ostensibly location-based but are better
explained in terms of linguistic habitusspeakersdispositions to linguistic practic-
esas it encounters values imbued in linguistic markets. As I show, drawing on
Bourdieus insights as reinvigorated through the work of the philosopher Nikolaus
Fogle (2011) and anthropologist Tim Ingold (2000), peoples dispositions to linguis-
tic practices are spatial in that they are developed vis-à-vis the dwelling agents social
as well as physical environments. This perspective is useful because it avoids the
pitfall of essentializing physical space and its relationship to language, while still
bearing in mind that space matters to linguistic practice.
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Accounting for the spatial logic of linguistic practice entails a research focus on the
relationship between the linguistic habitus of language users and the linguistic
market conditions where such users dwell (see THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK below).
Pursuing such a study, the present article adopts a qualitative, critical sociolinguis-
tics modus operandi centered on language use among a selection of differentially
positioned researchers, including their reasonings for such use, in relation to socio-
linguistic values at play in Swedish academe. Following Heller (2011), such an ap-
proach is realized by linking multiple research techniques, while remaining
sensitive to the fact that the techniques utilized provide different points of entry
and generate different kinds of data. Correspondingly, I here combine two
strands of methodological procedures. One is the rst-hand study of what people
do with language, obtained through observations in the settings where their linguis-
tic practices unfold. The other is to ask producers of linguistic practices to reect on
these practices, so as to yield interview accounts of the practical experiences of
agents. Whereas the rst procedure captures linguistic practices, the latter captures
meta-linguistic practices valuable for understanding how linguistic market condi-
tions are sensed and experienced. The latter procedure, however, requires analytical
sensitivity. In particular, as we shall see, in calling upon speakers to account for
their own engagement in linguistic practice, they often produce accounts that
seem reasonable, where rationalizations typically mirror conditions that they
tacitly accept (Hanks 2005). Hence, the intervieweescommon-sense accounts of
their practices need also be accounted for theoretically. Here, Bourdieus lens
stands in good stead as it reveals the interests that are served by the banality of prac-
tice(Cresswell 2002:381).
Correspondingly, the dataset consists of observations of linguistic practice as
well as interview accounts produced by researchers active in four disciplinary
elds of Swedish academe: psychology, computer science, mathematics, and
history. The subjects are Swedish speakers (computer science and psychology)
and non-Swedish speakers (mathematics and history) in the practice-implicational
sense outlined above and further discussed throughout the article. The empirical
material was rst compiled in relation to a larger research project on language
issues and phenomena in Swedish academe from 20112016, which produced a
rich dataset of meeting recordings, eldnotes, and interviews (see Salö 2016 for
details). For the present article, observable yet under-explored observation and in-
terview accounts from computer science and psychology were extracted from the
dataset. From 2017 to 2018, additional observations and hour-long interviews
were conducted in mathematics and history, and were subsequently added to the
dataset in the form of eldnotes and transcriptions.
In working through this dataset, the procedure consisted of locating moments
where the participantsembodied knowledge of market conditions was rendered
salient. I manually selected instances of observed practices and interview accounts
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that seemed to be related to, conditioned by, or contingent upon space, insofar as
they either revealed spatially infused linguistic strategies or adhered to prevalent
principles relevant to language and space. In analyzing such instances qualitatively,
I sought to unravel ways in which spacesocial and physicalappeared as a struc-
turing feature in linguistic practice, as understood within the chosen theoretical
framework (see below).
Space and language: Towards a Bourdieusian account
Contemporary scholarship on language in society increasingly addresses spatiality
in respect to different kinds of language-oriented analyses (see Higgins 2017 for an
overview). For example, Markus & Cameron (2002) provide a compelling account
of language ABOUT the material spaces of buildings, and so explore the intersection
of sociolinguistics and architecture. Attention to the relationship between language
and physical space has also been made via the notion of linguistic=semiotic land-
scapes (e.g. Jaworski & Thurlow 2010). A stronger social orientation, arguably,
is found in work that sheds light on the spatial repertoires(e.g. Pennycook &
Otsuji 2015) or the spaces of multilingualismthat crystalize in globalizing con-
texts (Blommaert et al. 2005).
The present article partly aligns with this broad intellectual agenda. I share with
Markus & Cameron (2002) an interest in language IN RELATION TO physical rooms
and other architectural reications of space, and with Blommaert et al. (2005)an
interest in language knowledge and communicative behavior in relation to spatial
environments. Crucially, however, I place at center stage the relations between
social space and linguistic practice, and for this reason, I additionally encompass
a theory of practice. On this note, spatially interested sociolinguistics has been
prone to grounding its accounts on space in the work of certain French philosophers
in the poststructural tradition, notably Michel De Certeau and Henri Lefebvre (see
Higgins 2017). Here I draw instead on Bourdieus contemporaneous account,
which like Lefebvres but unlike De Certeaus, centers intellectually on incarnated
durable dispositionshabitusas a core feature of his theory of practice. In what
follows, I outline Bourdieus account of spatiality, followed by his account of lin-
guistic practice.
Bourdieu as a spatial thinker
Bourdieus account of spatiality was developed in numerous publications over the
course of many years. His matured account comprises two key components: social
and physical space. These modes of space, as he stresses throughout, appear seem-
ingly discrete but are, in fact, interdependent in that theyassume, and create the con-
ditions for, each other. Physical space, to begin, concerns geographic locations and
environments: built spaces such as buildings and rooms with a concrete material
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existence. The privileging of this perspective was prominent in some of Bourdieus
early ethnological work, for instance, in his analyses of the Berber house in
post-war Algeria (Bourdieu 1970), where particular everyday practices were
shown to be spatially bound to particular physical locations in the buildings.
Later, Bourdieu (1990:9) himself commented on these studies as Perhaps the
last work I wrote as a blissful structuralist. His thenceforth developed notion of
social space is more intangible and, by virtue of its varied applications in Bour-
dieus theorizing, certainly harder to grasp. In one of its usages, social space
means something akin to society’—the overarching social world within which
more or less autonomous social elds are placed. However, beyond being a tool
for theoretical modelling, social space is a feature of reality just as real as geograph-
ical space(Bourdieu 1991:232). In this latter usage, social space often serves as a
SYMBOLIC space, denoting the arena in which people act and occupy positions, and
which is phenomenologically experienced by, and so incarnated in, social agents.
Social agents, Bourdieu stipulates accordingly, are constituted in, and in relation-
ship to, a social space(1993a:124, emphasis removed). In this sense, social space
is, in effect, most palpably manifested in its historically embodied mode of exis-
tence: in people, or, more specically, in their habitus (see below), which is liter-
ally incorporated by long exposure to a given region of social space(Fogle
2011:14). The fact that socialhere incorporates symbolicis saliently manifested
in language, where differences associated with social positions assume symbolic
values, that is, are rendered into symbolic differences (Bourdieu 1996:17).
For Bourdieu, as noted, physical space and social space are inter-reliant
manifested in and transmitted into one another. As an illustration, a key observa-
tion in Bourdieus(1970) work on the Berber houses was that spatially specic
practices were often gendered; women, for instance, conducted particular house-
hold duties in particular locations within the house, in a sense that tied physical
space to social space and the structures at work there. Physical space, Bourdieu
came to argue, is reied social space(Bourdieu 1993a:126). As Bourdieusian the-
orist Fogle (2011) persuasively argues, while physical space often serves as a
pivotal template for the organization of the social world, providing its material con-
ditions of existence, physical spaces are already social because the environment is
built. This point was aptly pinpointed by Winston Churchill in noting that We
shape our buildings and afterward our buildings shape us(quoted in Fogle
Thus, human agents make physical space social and social space physical. It may
be suggested that such spatializing phenomena unfold through the practices of
social agents and the knowledge they come to embody in both physical and
mental actions (Curtis 2015). In Ingolds(2000) account, human agents come to
embody both of these modes of space through the human condition of dwelling;
as he asserts, [k]nowledge of the world is gained by moving about in it, attending
to it, ever alert to the signs by which it is revealed(2000:55). Dwelling, perceived
as a mundane mode of socialization, instills on the part of the agent a sense of the
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equivalences between physical space and social space(Bourdieu 1990:71). This
instilled sensemay be conceptualized as a form of incorporated practical knowl-
edge stemming from a biographically acquired skill of perceiving the environment.
Sharing this position, Fogle (2011) places analytical weight on the role of
habitus as the mediator between social and physical modes of space. Acquired
through the agents encounters with social AND physical environments, habitus
may be dened as the system of deeply incorporated ways of being, doing, think-
ing, and perceiving, which social agents owe to the mode of socialization to which
they have been subjected(Bourdieu 2017:292). Through such adaptive exposure
equally structurED and structurINGsocial agents come to incorporate
the worlds they live in, and so acquire particular historically embodied dispositions
to action. As Ingold puts it, they come literally to carry the forms of the dwellings
in their bodiesin specic skills, sensibilities and dispositions(Ingold
2000:186). Accordingly, social agentsinvolvement in social life results in a
kind of knowledge that is, above all, obtained through their involvement with
Through such involvement, people acquire the specic dispositions and sensibilities that lead them to
orient themselves in relation to their environment and to attend to its features in the particular ways
that they do. These dispositions and sensibilities add up to what Bourdieu calls the habitus. (Ingold
Habitus, markets, and spatial practices of language
Because some of the skills, sensibilities, and dispositions endowed in habitus
pertain to language, habitus provides a key inroad into a Bourdieusian spatial
logic of linguistic practice. A more precise vantage point is provided here by the
notion of linguistic habitus, conceptualized as a subentity of habitus whose charac-
teristics pertain chiey to language and to dispositions of communication more
generally. One implication of this position is that language users, through pro-
longed experiences of occupying positions in space, embody linguistic disposi-
tions, which predisposes them to perceive and act in certain ways. Habitus,
however, is an insufcient component in Bourdieus understanding of linguistic
practice on its own. In invoking the formula linguistic habitus þlinguistic
market = linguistic expression, speech, Bourdieu (1993b:78) privileges a relational
conception of linguistic practice, where sociolinguistic matters beyond the speaking
individual require additional analytical attention. Bourdieus notion of linguistic
market seeks to do precisely this, and it lies accordingly at the core of his under-
standing of linguistic practices as PARTLY constrained by outer, valorizing condi-
tions. Essentially, this is why practices of linguistic exchange are permeated with
symbolic power, where power relations between linguistic producers and their
social collectives are actualized (Bourdieu 1991:37).
As linguistic habitus produces linguistic practices, the linguistic products are
put on a linguistic market and are assessed, evaluated, and price-determined
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(Bourdieu 1993b:79). Linguistic markets, then, are value-imbued spaces of socio-
linguistic sanctions and censorships, in relation to which linguistic products acquire
their value. In their capacity of being spaces, markets have social and physical con-
stituents and are subsequently sustained through language usersshared, endowed
dispositions, as well as through the material display of language in artifacts, state-
backed policies, and the like.
While Bourdieus schematic outline is useful, it must be remembered that lin-
guistic habitus and linguistic markets are not disconnected analytical entities but
two modes of history contingent upon one another. While linguistic habitus is
the embodied product of linguistic market conditions bestowed throughout the life-
span, linguistic markets are manufactured by human beings and subsequently sus-
tained because the values they endorse are reproduced in practice by language users
who act in accordance with their embodied schemes of perception. Far from macro-
laden, the ramications of this logic are situation-specic. When socialized agents
speak, their habitus encounters particular values inscribed in historically contingent
market conditions that are actualized in those situations. For Bourdieu, the condi-
tions of linguistic marketsengrained ideas about linguistic acceptability, appro-
priateness, correctness, and so onare actualized and keenly feltin real-life
situations of linguistic exchange, and so shape the preconditions for linguistic pro-
duction. Market conditions prompt language users to feel at ease in some situations
and awkwardin others; using linguistic assets that are situationally inappropriate
is typically linked to a sense of unease and, sometimes, emotional and even physical
The practical knowledge conferred by this sense of position takes the form of emotion (the unease of
someone who is out of place, or the ease that comes from being in ones place), and it is expressed in
behaviors such as avoidance or unconsciousadjustments such as the correction of ones accent (in the
presence of a person of higher rank) or, in situations of bilingualism, THE CHOICE OF THE LANGUAGE
APPROPRIATE TO THE SITUATION. (Bourdieu 2000:184, emphasis added)
Markets operate on a logic that is enduring yet alterable in the micro-practices of
real-life linguistic exchange. For instance, as we see below, ordinarily persistent lin-
guistic market conditions upheld though the practices of a given category of social
agents can be instantly rejigged by the sudden physical company of individual
social agents and the embodied mode of social space they bring into play, resulting
in adjustments in linguistic practice.
This perspective allows for an interesting social understanding of linguistic skills
and knowledge: one centering on the capacity to produce expressions à propos,for
a particular market(Thompson 1991:18). At heart, for Bourdieu, language users
do not obtain linguistic competence in isolation; their language mastery is, con-
versely, inseparable from the practical mastery of situations in which a particular
language usage is socially enabled (Thompson 1984:46; Bourdieu 1991:82). Lan-
guage users, he holds, become sensitized to the value of their linguistic assets as
well as to the value imbued in the markets where they introduce their linguistic
products. By this logic, Bourdieu (1991) holds that all social agents retain a
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linguistic sense of placement as a bodily, practical sense of knowing ones placein
relation to market assessments. Inculcated in habitus, this dual form of practical
knowledge reexively orients linguistic production because language users per-
ceive the censorship of markets they inhabit and to which they, through self-
censorship, are inclined to adapt (Thompson 1984:57ff.; see Salö 2015).
Language in Swedish academe
In Sweden, the prevailing position of English in academe was rst noticed in the
early 1990s. Through the critical LPP discussions this perceived situation triggered,
the sociolinguistic conditions in academe were framed much as if university life as a
whole was an English-only domain, as purportedly evident in teaching practices
and by publishing in the hard sciences (see Salö 2016). However, as the debate pro-
gressed, more nuanced reasonings were also put forward. Melander (2001), for in-
stance, pointed to the difference for Swedish speakers between using English for
publication and using English with Swedish friends and acquaintances. As he
noted, A Swede who starts to use English outside the accepted domains would
no doubt face strong social sanctions. He or she would be regarded as odd at
best; by most probably as affected, ridiculous and in general, socially incompetent
(2001:26). Indeed, this point resonated with earlier empirical ndings on English
use in Sweden-based multinational companies (Hollqvist 1984:140), which had
concluded that English is spokenonly when an interlocutor or listener does
not speak Swedish.
While exceptions are likely to exist, this principle seemingly holds true for a
range of discursive exchangessocial, educational, professional, and otherwise
in Swedish academe. Söderlundh (e.g. 2012) has shown that Swedish occurred
frequently among Swedish-speaking university teachers and students even in
courses that were nominally taught in English. Similarly, Salö (2015) and Salö &
Hanell (2014) demonstrated that in physics and computer science, Swedish-
speaking researchers used technical and discipline-specic Swedish in their
research practices, despite the fact that the scientic text-artifacts produced in
these elds are virtually always produced in English. In what follows, I delve
into the logic underpinning such linguistic practices.
The relations between social space and linguistic practice
A central regularity revealed in the studies reviewed above (esp. Salö 2015) is that
Swedish-speaking researchers view English as the appropriate language for situa-
tions involving colleagues who have not mastered Swedish sufciently.
However, they use Swedish when it is socially enabled, for instance, in exchanges
with Swedish-speaking colleagues. They typically rationalize such linguistic prac-
tices by referring to Swedish as the common languageand, therefore, as the
naturalchoice for communication. Likewise, the thought of using English unwar-
rantedly’—that is, in situations where all participants have mastered Swedishis
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described as potentially very strangeor ridiculous(Salö 2015; cf. Melander
2001). In reality, it is reported happening seldom or never, since among its speakers
Swedish is the legitimate language in the micro-markets for linguistic exchanges in
the workplace.
However, due to recruitment and cooperation patterns in internationalizing
academe, non-Swedish speakers frequently partake in the research practice. In
some situations, these dynamics lead to alternations in linguistic practice,
ushered in by the presence and sudden absence of non-Swedish speakers (cf.
extract (1)). This sort of practice is commented upon by a Swedish-speaking com-
puter scientist in (2).
(2) (interview, computer scientist)
But it is easy to note that the threshold is low for switching into English. When I was at
[a Swedish university], it would typically be enough to have one person in the room
who does not speak Swedish as a mother tongue, or very well, for the natural language
to be English. In those contexts, you can even observe how rapidly things can change,
how you develop small, local microhabitats in some way. When someone goes to the
bathroom, you might actually switch into Swedish, continue speaking about
the same thing for a few minutes, and then switch back into English again when the
person who is the causal factor returns from the bathroom.
The point I wish to stress is that the dynamics actualized in extract (2), one of
bodies and rooms, concerns preliminarily the impact of embodied social space
on linguistic practice. More profoundly, however, it demonstrates how linguistic
practice is conditionally bound to space to the extent that their interrelationship is
rendered salient only when spatially infused market conditions are rejigged. This
latter insight is vital, because it serves to avoid a priori reasonings of space as an
arrangement existing prior to linguistic practice. Rather, it stresses how linguistic
practices are shaped in relation to space, where space serves as a template for the
organization of linguistic assets. As noted, a rm Bourdieusian position dictates
that socialized language users are endowed with a guiding sense and bodily skill
of producing language tacitly aligned to the power of acceptability imbued in spe-
cic situations (Thompson 1984:7). In extract (2) we nd a situation where the em-
ployment of linguistic assets is based on a notion of sociolinguistic acceptability
that is nourished by the spatial presence of language users, paired with a sense of
their linguistic competence, or, rather, a sense of otherslinguistic habitus. In the
company of non-Swedish speakers, English, rather than Swedish, is the socially
enabled language, which is to say that non-Swedish-speaking language users
alter the market conditions and the perceived authority of Swedish in the market
conditions of the meeting room. For Swedish speakers, however, this situation is
strongly conditioned by the physical presence of non-Swedish speakers. In fact,
a window of only a few minutes in which Swedish is socially enabled is sufcient
for drifting into its use.
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Hence, such oscillating practices comprise assessment and a spatiotemporal di-
mension. To some extent, to begin, the language knowledge of language users in-
volves knowing about otherslanguage knowledge. In step with Goodwin (1994),
this capacity is lodged in the professional vision of academic dwellers, and their
perspectival, socially organized ways of seeing and understanding linguistic prac-
tices, including the linguistic skills and awareness of other dwellers engaged therein
(Koller 2018). Correspondingly, as extract (2) indicates, legitimate English use is
based on the evaluation, tacit or not, of whether one or more interlocutors do not
speak Swedish as a mother tongue or very well.
Indeed, in this sense competence assessmentevaluationis always at play in
situated contact(Blommaert et al. 2005:200). Consistently, my observations attest
to there being a spatially infused principle that affects linguistic exchanges across
Swedish academe. Among colleagues, there often exists a shared understanding
about who is a speaker of this or that language, where being a speakeressentially
means whether a given language can be used, either productively or receptively, for
particular ends. Swedish-speaking researchers keep careful track of who is partici-
pating in the linguistic exchange of social-professional life, and of the drift between
Swedish and English in ways that exhibit both ample knowledge and timing. Aca-
demic dwellers are attentive to features of their environments; their choice of lan-
guage is guided by a number of strategies, endowed in habitus as a practical
sense of using language in ways regarded as socially acceptable by others. Often,
such strategies hinge upon perceptions of the extent to which non-Swedish speakers
partake in exchanges or not. This latter assessment has a clear spatial component
because the extent to which attributed non-Swedish speakers actually engage in
conversations is gauged on the basis of cues: how close potential interlocutors
are physically positioned, whether they signal a willingness to participate, and
so on.
Naturally, however, such evaluation is subject to change over time. Importantly,
habitusthus including linguistic habitusis a product of history and time, which
produces individual AS WELL AS collective practices (Bourdieu 1990:54). To illus-
trate, the computer scientist recalls his research group being joined by a German
colleague, whose presence initially entailed English use at meetings. Yet, in due
time, and through the colleagues learning trajectory of Swedish, the market condi-
tions constraining their linguistic practices changed.
(3) (interview, computer scientist)
There was a turning point, and I dont recall exactly how long it took. But say, byway of
guessing, not longer than a year later we spoke Swedish with him too. There was, so to
speak, a gradual change of outcome of this negotiation.
This extract highlights a distinct temporalizing facet of practice. As Bourdieu
(2000:206207) emphasizes, practice does not merely unfold over time but
makes time. By the same token, it is noteworthy that the work of time (Bourdieu
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1990:98111) impacts not only the accumulation of Swedish-language assets by
the German dweller but also the perception schemes of colleagues who evaluate
the rhythm of his movement and eventually recategorize him as a Swedish
speaker. Thus, over time, the German colleague is made into a Swedish speaker
by social agents already construed as belonging to that social collective, or is
awarded RECOGNITION AS belonging to a linguistically dened group, united by
their mutual dispositions (cf. Blommaert 2015:11).
Notably, the computer scientists account in (2) also points to certain relation-
ships between language use and the physical spaces of rooms in the department.
An academic workplace typically comprises physical demarcations within it, sep-
arating ofces from kitchens, labs, bathrooms, and seminar rooms. These are rooms
constructed with the idea that certain activities typically and preferably occur in
certain physical spaces. The computer scientist positions the meeting room as a
common professional space, where the lingua franca, English, subsequently
holds currency as the language of inclusion, given that non-Swedish speakers are
present. This point is salient also in extract (4), provided by a Swedish-speaking
psychologist. Her account similarly points to salient dispositions to linguistic prac-
tice, the principle of which dictates that Swedish speakers use Swedish among
themselves. She is part of a closely-knit research group, whose members all
speak Swedish, with extensive experience in previous collaborations. Anchored
in previous practices and entangled in social relations, Swedish is the language
of their online and ofine meetings, their email correspondence, and so on.
However, as in extract (2), the psychologist reports that English often serves as
the working language, as abundances of academic events involve participants
with an insufcient grasp of Swedish.
(4) (interview, psychologist)
We currently have several German PhD students, and we have not come so far that we
use German. Rather, we speak English at our meetings. We normally speak Swedish
among ourselves. The same goes for [another Swedish university] where we have
lots of PhD students and people from different places. There we use English, kind of
as a corporate language, and now not long ago we were conferring that we should
start using Swedish always in the ka room [lunchroom for staff], so as to aid the
learning of Swedish.
The psychologist here draws attention to a number of interesting features con-
cerning the ways in which linguistic assets relate to the spatial demarcation of
rooms in the workplace. Reference is made to the ka room, a common area
where staff members take their lunch and coffee breaks. Here, a notion of sociality
affects linguistic practice, as acultural feature of the Swedish notion of ka is that it
carries the connotations of being enmeshed in a social event of communicative ex-
change (Ehn & Löfgren 2010). In short, people typically drink coffee and converse
informally. In their study on kitchen talkin Danish academe, Hazel & Mortensen
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(2013:4) similarly note that the kitchen represents a space where institutionally im-
plemented regulations and norms of conduct, including norms related to language
choice, are less formalized than for instance in classroom, library orofce settings.
Accordingly, in the psychologists account in (4), the ka room is framed as a space
central to everyday conversation, small talk, and even integration. As she reports,
there are tentative plansto increase the use of Swedish in this space, so as to scaffold
non-Swedish speakerslearning of the language. This wayof utilizing space, that is,
as an arguably well-intentioned way of imposing Swedish, has also been observed
in other studies (Negretti & Garcia-Yeste 2015).
The viewpoint of non-Swedish speakers
The fact that linguistic practices are often managed in silence, without explicit
rules and policies, suggests that certain dispositions to linguistic practice are
shared (e.g. Ingold 2000:409). However, due to global inux, Swedish academe
is a diverse site where there is little reason to assume that speakersdispositions
are the product of identical or similar socialization (see Thompson 1984).
Rather, by virtue of their internationalizing pursuit, universities are sites marked
by an ample degree of throwntogetherness (Massey 2005) of linguistic habitus
that were not crafted in relation to the same linguistic market conditions. To expli-
cate further, we now turn to the linguisticexperiences of non-Swedish speakers who
share neither majority-based linguistic assets nor dispositions to linguistic practice
imbued through exposure to the market values relevant to Swedish academe. Obvi-
ously, however, they too embody the skills, sensibilities, dispositions, and other
forms of dwellings that Ingold (2000:186) alludes to, all of which bear on the
spatial logic of their linguistic practices.
The rst account comes from a British mathematician whose skills in Swedish
are, by his own assessment, limited. Recalling the account presented in extract
(2), the mathematicians participation in workplace conversations constitutes a
causal factor, in that his physical presence alters market conditions in ways that
affect linguistic practice: his presence prompts Swedish-speaking colleagues to
drift into English. As shown in extract (5), the inuence his attendance has on lin-
guistic practice is something he has noted and reected upon, particularly so in the
social settings of the academic workplace, also discussed in relation to extract (4).
(5) (interview, mathematician)
Linus: What characterizes the coffee room in terms of language?
Mathematician: It depends very much on whos there. In a conversation where everyone
is comfortable in Swedish, it will happen in Swedish. But as soon as
theres anyone who is noticeably not comfortable in Swedish, everyone
will happily switch over to English. And pretty much seamlessly also,
there is no kind of break in the conversation.
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Linus: Would you be the kind of person that would make people switch?
Mathematician: Ehrm, lets say if I am taking part in the conversation signicantly, then
yes. If I am sort of sitting, listening at a smiling and nodding kind of
level,now they dont feel the need to so much. But if I am actually
participating in a conversation, I will be trying to say something in
Swedish and it will be halting enough that either I or they will switch to
English from frustration.
According to the mathematician in (5), Swedish is often the preferred language
in the coffee room (cf. Negretti & Garcia-Yeste 2015), although Swedish speakers
will happilyswitch to English if socially warranted. Colleagues thus shuttle
between Swedish and English in ways that remain sensitive to the linguistic
assets of their interlocutors, and the habitus that mediates these. The mathematician
reports having observed seamlessalternations in linguistic practice among his
Swedish-speaking peers. He also seems to have grasped the ways that his own
bodily movement in such exchanges rejigs the market conditions that otherwise
enable Swedish use in the physical space of the kitchen. This does not imply,
however, that physical spaces correspond straightforwardly to the utilization of par-
ticular linguistic assets. Rather, the mathematician senses, the logic by which dif-
ferent languages are used operates on a participant basis.
(6) (interview, mathematician)
Certain mixes of people tend to happen in certain rooms and so then rooms end up more
often being in that language. But I dont have any feeling of that association carrying
over to when something else is in that room. So, for instance, the seminar room where
the seminars are always in English, when there are Swedish colleagues having a con-
versation there, they will still be conversing in Swedish I would say.
The second example derives from a group of Italian researchers working in a
history department. Observation informed me that they regularly spoke English
among themselves when conversing in common spaces at work, even when only
Italian speakers participated in the conversations. In light of the Swedish speakers
reported awkwardness in using English unwarrantedly, this observed practice ap-
peared to operate according to an alternative social logic, sanctioning the use of
the lingua franca, English, among themselves, while rendering Italian, their rst
language, inappropriate in spaces such as the kitchen. In extracts (7) and (8), two
of the historians, Luigi and Rafael, discuss the logic of their linguistic practices.
(7) (interview, historians)
1 Linus: I have noticed that you speak English in the kitchen here, and I nd that
quite interesting. Could you reect upon why you do that?
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2 Luigi: I can start. I think that even if we are both, you know, this is not our rst
language, I think that the big difference is more a matter of the space rather
than the language per se. Since the kitchen is actually a common space, we
try to speak a language that is a common language. And while we are
among us, you know, generally in my ofce for instance, we can actually
speak our language. So, this is I think the big difference. So, no matter if
somebody is actually around, for me it is a welcoming practice. You know,
by denition you are saying to people that they can join. If I am using my
own language, I am saying by denition please dont come.
3 Linus: Right.
4 Rafael: I mean, we are lucky enough that we can work in English in Sweden, and
we dont need to speak Swedish, which for us would be funny, lets say.
We dont really know it. And so, I mean, the idea of keeping open the space
for conversation and for other people to contribute. It just feels natural, the
right thing to do.
5 Linus: Is this way of using language something that you have spoken about? Have
you sort of uttered a kind of agreement that when we are in the kitchen, we
use English?
6 Luigi: I think not, I think not. I think that we have never really made an agreement.
I think that it is kind of natural in a sense. For me it is also a matter of being
understood. Basically, if someone is overhearing us, I dont want to give
the impression that it is impossible to know what we are saying.
7 Rafael: We are not sharing secrets.
8 Luigi: I mean, I think [the] Swedish, they really like this transparent and
transparency word. I think it is a way of being transparent. And you
know, I could also tell you, if there is something that is really private that I
want to tell Rafael, I would probably use Italian, but I would rather prefer
not to do this now, while you are here. It would be just rude. I dont need to
do this now right.
9 Rafael: Really, I mean, this is not Italy, Italian is not a common language. So, I
mean, you should keep it open. You should let everybody [have] the
possibly to participate. And, yeah, it just feels right.
10 Luigi: For me it is a way to show that I am really trying to be part of a community
without excluding anybody.
By dwelling in the social world of Swedish academe, the two Italian-speaking
historians have attained a sense of the market conditions in play there, which is ren-
dered apprehensible in spatial terms. Luigi (line 2) is quick to point out that their
linguistic practices pertain to space rather than language per se. The kitchen,
where staff has lunch, is considered to be a common space, where two languages
are socially acceptable: Swedish or English. Other languages, including Italian,
are seen as not having a rightful place in this environmentat once physical and
socialultimately because such languages cannot be used as discursive tools of in-
clusion and openness in the workplace. Both interviewees seem utterly uninterested
in having an Italian enclave amid internationalizing language conditions. Their
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accounts seem rather harmonized and follow the logic of common spacecommon
language=noncommon spaceour language, viz. Italian. At heart, they are keen on
contributing to communality: being understood, transparent, and welcoming. As
Rafael (line 4) notes, It just feels natural.
Although not speaking Swedish themselves, they justify the legitimate place of
Swedish by making reference to Sweden as a national space, where Swedish has its
valid place, and where Swedish universities are located. They seem unwilling to
question the utilization of Swedish here, even in times of rapid internationalization
and despite the fact that Swedish use excludes them. In fact, their use of English
appears to be a strategy of the linguistic habitusa way of compensating for the
fact that, as of yet, they do not speak Swedish sufciently well (line 4). In fact,
like the Swedish-speaking computer scientist in extract (2), Rafael and Luigi
both adhere to a notion of linguistic naturalness; yet, the logic they invoke differs
substantially in its practical application. English among Italian speakers is per-
ceived as natural. Language use is thus justied, or at least rationalized, in terms
of naturalness; as Hanks (2005:78) puts it, the ontological complicity between lin-
guistic and social categories makes each of them appear natural.
The reason, again, has to do with spatiality, and their sense of their linguistic
assets in relation to the market conditions where they dwell. This sense drives
their linguistic practices: they avoid Italian in common spaces because doing so
is deemed appropriate and they circumvent Swedish because they have not mas-
tered it. What is left is English, a language thought to be shared by all. However,
physical space comes into play insofar as Italian is reported to be used behind
closed doors, such as in Luigisofce (line 2). Since his ofce is not perceived
to be a common space, the use of an uncommon language is considered acceptable
Through socialization, such adjustment patterns are embodied as spatial orien-
tations to limits. Notably, however, they are sustained not because the historians
follow rules or adhere to agreements (lines 56) but because of a shared strategy
(see Lamaison & Bourdieu 1986), in this case, a strategy of creating a t
between their linguistic habitus and the values endorsed in the markets they
inhabit. Guided by the practical sense that inuences their linguistic practices,
using English is, or is rationalized as, a reasonable strategy for navigating
Swedish academe linguistically. As seen in the next extract, these spatially bespo-
ken linguistic-market conditions trump feelings of unease linked to speaking
English to other Italian speakers.
(8) (interview, historians)
11 Linus: When I have studied these things and spoken to Swedish people, they say
that obviously they switch to English when other people are participating
but, for them, speaking English among themselves isthere is something
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very awkward and unnatural, they say, about that. So, it takes more, it
seems, for them to switch to English. Not just the sort of potential event of
someone overhearing you but rather someones active attempt at
participating. So, this is what I wonder, you feel comfortable speaking
English to each other?
12 Luigi: We are not in the same situation here. Because this is your country, this is
not mine. So if you, generally speaking, if a Swedish person doesnt feel
comfortable speaking in English with another Swedish person and so on and
so forth, well, you need to consider that they are actually in their country,
and in a way this is also something that we might want to consider. In the
case of me, Rafael and me, it is different, because we are actually guests
basically. And it is not precisely that Italian is the language here, and I am
graciously shifting to English to include you. It is actually probably a
common ground which we are looking for.
Luigi (line 12) holds that Swedish speakers cannot be expected to follow the
same principles for discursive inclusion as international staff members, ultimately
because Sweden is their country. In fact, he seems to consider himself and his Italian
fellows as temporarily dwelling in Swedish university life. This self-understanding
guides his sense of value of Italian in the workplace and justies his linguistic sub-
ordination to the market conditions at work. For reasons of space, he holds, their
situation is not comparable to that of Swedish persons’—a labeled social collective
they do not envision themselves to be part of. In Luigisofce, however, other lin-
guistic market conditions apply, ultimately because the ofce is perceived as a more
private physical space, where the historically contingent market conditions that are
actualized in common spaces do not apply equally. In their ofces, Italian seeming-
ly holds a heightened market value, and it is here reinforced by calls to order from
the group, that is to say, from the aggregate of the individuals endowed with
the same dispositions, to whom each is linked by his dispositions and interests
(Bourdieu 1977:15).
Merton (1942=1973:271) once remarked that the institution of science is part of a
larger social structure with which it is not always integrated. Language, to be sure,
is part of that structure, which is why the question of legitimate language use in
academe matters. In this light, it is evident that academe, as a subspace of
society, can be approached from the viewpoint of language, whereas language, con-
versely, can be approached from the viewpoint of society, as an extraordinarily
sensitive index of social relationships, processes and development(Blommaert
2015:12). Using the inroads provided by language, as this article proposes, univer-
sity life is best conceived as positioned in a space that is, at once, national and in-
ternational. Beyond the Anglophone world, as the Swedish case illustrates, this
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all-at-oncenesshas implications for linguistic practice, ultimately because the na-
tional space seems bound up with national languages, whereas the international
space is bound up with English. As this article has sought to demonstrate empirical-
ly, a feature of this global condition is that it engenders a particular type of oscillat-
ing language use: a spatial logic of linguistic practice.
In internationalizing academe, to be sure, there are linguistic market conditions
operating in favor of English, which, reecting and reinforcing the present-day so-
ciolinguistic order of global science, gives English an indispensable position as the
language of publishing practices and beyond. Global inuxes of staff also make the
lingua franca, English, a requisite collective asset in the workplace. Yet, the ac-
counts presented in this article maintain that Swedish-speaking scholars hold
Swedish to be the natural, thatis, the legitimate, language to use among themselves.
Thus, another coterminous spatial logica set of historically contingent linguistic
market conditionsoperates in favor of Swedish. I argue that English use among
Swedish-speaking dwellers is socially constrained by the unease of being out of
place (Bourdieu 2000), inculcated in their socially endowed dispositions to linguis-
tic practice. For them, upholding the principle of speaking Swedish between them-
selves is to conform to market conditions imbued in specic situations, and to
produce language in accordance with a tacit yet authoritative idea of sociolinguistic
acceptability imbued in the specic situations where only Swedish speakers
Sociologically, this logic differs from accounts of language choice that treat
physical location, domain, space, or place as a decisive factor in and of itself. Fol-
lowing De Certeau, Higgins argues that space is a practiced place, and just because
places have been established, their material aspects do not determine peoples be-
havior(Higgins 2017:103). This article generally concurs with this view. Yet, the
Bourdieusian gaze adopted here is attuned to treating physical space as a template
that provides certain material conditions for social practices, including linguistic
practices, chiey based on the presences and absences of particular social agents
and the linguistic habitus they enact in practice. Hence, the emphasis on habitus
is what makes Bourdieus account distinct, as a lynchpin for fusing conceptually
the embodiment of social and physical space, and so grasping the banality of lin-
guistic practice (cf. Cresswell 2002:381). One implication of this argument is
that physical space is, often, a misrecognition of habitus and the social space it
carries with it into linguistic practices. To be sure, it is in physical locations that em-
bodied action takes place; nonetheless, in that physical locations are already social,
they affect language practices primarily by virtue of the practices associated with
particular physical spaces, and, most importantly, the agents taking part in such
practices. Their bodily presence, in this view, becomes a part of the physical
space, which in turn alters linguistic market conditions. This approach to embodied
experience as construing spatiality among socialized language users provides a
rened understanding of processes of sociolinguistic perception, which enables
ones sense of physical space to bleed over into ones sense of the social, and
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therefore to ones sense of place in social space(Fogle 2011:86). I submit that
speakers are socialized into this logic: dwelling endows speakers with embodied
knowledges about linguistic naturality and acceptability, and instills in them a
sense of the equivalences between physical space and social space(Bourdieu
In this way, social spaceas instantiated in immediate physical spaceis
brought to bear on spatially locked-down agents. The computer scientist, psychol-
ogist, mathematician, and historians whose linguistic practices were explored in this
article all amplify the point that socialized agents (i) have acquired an incorporated
sense of the values ascribed to linguistic assets in various markets, (ii) understand
the value of their own linguistic assets, and (iii) make use of this practical knowl-
edge in the production of linguistic practice. These are the core constituents of their
linguistic sense of placement that signicantly affect language use. Nevertheless,
prolonged dwelling in academe and its social subuniverses prompts people to
speak about their mundane linguistic practices as being spatially inclined: physical
space becomes a way of apprehending particular patterns in the spatial distribution
of linguistic assets. As a result, physical space is readily used to grasp rationally a
certain linguistic behavior. As an effect, social agents not only speak spatiallyin
line with their linguistic sense of placementbut speak about their speaking in
spatial terms.
Repeatedly throughout the extracts, we see rationalizing attempts to present prac-
tices as logical. Indeed, part of the habitus is the capacity to render everyday behav-
ior reasonable in accounting practices; in Hankswords: Assumed, habituated, and
schematized in the habitus, systems of difference appear self-evident(2005:77).
Often, people are unaware or oblivious of the fact that they exercise or suffer
from symbolic violence and reapsymbolic prots as their linguistic habitus encoun-
ters a certain spacephysical and, at once, social. For those who pass as Swedish-
speakers, using Swedish with other Swedish-speakers who share a similar sense is
conceived as natural, that is, aligned to a shared notion of acceptability imbued in
these situations. Non-Swedish-speakers relate to this logic, too. As skillful speak-
ers, they too have a practical sense of the game of using language in ways that align
with perceived market values, and their linguistic habitus is the incarnation of that
sense—‘the product of a practical sense, of a particular social game(Lamaison &
Bourdieu 1986:112). The British mathematiciansrst language is the same lan-
guage, English, through which internationalizing academe increasingly operates.
Dwelling in Swedish academe, however, he is confronted with market conditions
that ascribe ample value also to Swedish, an order to which he is highly sensitized.
For the Italian historians, it seems reasonable, natural, to subordinate themselves
to the same market logic of sanctions and censorships that ascribes legitimacy to
two languagesSwedish and Englishin common spaces. Behind the closed
doors of their ofces, Italian linguistic assets are valorized and subsequently
used. By eschewing Italian in common spaces, their linguistic practices neatly illus-
trate that the spatial logic of linguistic practice presented here is not rule-obeying but
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strategy-inclined, aligned with the sociolinguistic order infusing the workplace.
Their practices are produced by their sense of the game of how to dwell in
Swedish academe linguistically.
By way of concluding, let us return to Pasteurs old dictum that science, unlike
scientists, has no homeland. This viewdeeply engrained in contemporary SP
worldwidemay be fruitfully problematized through the study of language in
the realm of science. It might well be that knowledge, as the saying goes, knows
no boundaries. Yet, given that scientic knowledge is produced by nationally po-
sitioned scientists, the idea of completely displacing science from its producers and
contexts of origin seems naïve at best. Pasteur knew this. In 1888, he proclaimed
that If science does not have a homeland, then the man of science must have
one, and to it he owes the inuence his work may have in the world(quote from
Gingras 2002:31, my translation). Hence, Pasteur cherished intellectually interna-
tionalism and national attachment in equal measures. Notably, he produced global-
ly valuable knowledge through the medium of Frenchand would probably not have
endorsed the idea that the use of multiple languages strains scientic universalism.
Subsequently, internationalization policies that postulate academe to be inherently
international, and thus normatively English-dominated, not only a lack a sound
basis but downplay academe as a site of struggle, where matters of interest and
power unfold.
*This work was produced within the knowledge-platform Making Universities Matter, funded by
Swedens Innovation Agency (2015-04473; 2019-03679). I thank the journals editors, two reviewers,
and the following colleagues for comments that greatly improved the manuscript: David Karlander,
Linnea Hanell, Luke Holmes, Lamont Antieau, Fredrik Bertilsson, Marco Santello, and Suresh
For example, thistrope was recently utilized by the European Commissioner for Research, Science &
Innovation, Carlos Moedas, Brazil November 17, 2015.
This extract appeared in Salö (2015) and is here reused with permission from Wiley.
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(Received 19 November 2019; revision received 29 November 2019;
accepted 08 March 2020; final revision received 08 April 2020)
Address for correspondence:
Linus Salö
Stockholm University
Centre for Research on Bilingualism
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
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... As can be seen here, Morgan's perception of linguistic valorization in the workplace had an impact on his own linguistic practices (cf. Salö, 2020). He refers to the notion of a 'glass ceiling' with respect to Swedish linguistic capital. ...
... For instance, Sweden-born teachers and researchers with an immigrant background (two parents born abroad) are also underrepresented in Swedish HEIs despite knowing Swedish (Uppsala University, 2016, see Behtoui & Høyer Leivestad, 2019). By the same token, being English-speaking males, our informants' accounts represent only one side of the internationalization story, which may contrast with many others (Holmes, 2020;Salö, 2020). ...
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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.
... In fact, scientists seem to be socialized into drawing from such an expansive range of semiotic repertoires, even if linguists have failed to address them. Salö (2022) has recently demonstrated in this journal that academic communities in Sweden also draw from their habitus shaped by their spatial ecology to switch languages as relevant for different spaces and discourse genres. The professional development, assessment practices, and remedial programs for international scientists should be expanded to accommodate such embodied repertoires and distributed practice, countering the overly logocentric and mentalist approaches adopted currently. ...
This article addresses recent calls in sociolinguistics to accommodate the agentive role of material objects in communicative interactions. The study explores how agency is shared between humans and objects, and how the latter may influence and shape the semiotic repertoires in a professional interaction. We adopt interactional sociolinguistics to analyze video recordings from the research group meetings (RGM) of a team of multinational microbiologists in a midwestern American university to demonstrate how the door plays an important role in the RGM genre of discourse. The door serves as a contextualization cue for the opening and composition of the interaction, indexes the participant identities, constructs the interactional space into an ‘ecological huddle’, and frames the ‘professional vision’ by bringing into salience the relevant semiotic resources, footing, participation frameworks, and ethos. (Objects, embodied sociolinguistics, interactional sociolinguistics, ecological huddle, research group meetings)*
... Recent studies have examined how habitus manifests in the relationships and commitments between languages, individuals, and communities, collaboratively subverting monolingual ideals (Lamb, 2015), or constructing heterogeneous, alternative, or illegitimate linguistic practices (Moraru, 2020). Scholars also draw attention to the functional multilingualism of social agents and their habitus in various contexts of interaction (Moore & Gajo, 2009;Salö, 2020). For example, Moore and Gajo (2009) place analytical weight on multilingual agents, who find themselves at various points along a situational continuum; various positionings on this continuum induce alternative choices and social adjustments, particular language modes e.g., the choice of one language or the possibility of code-switching, and endorsing different identities as a speaker e.g., a monolingual, a bilingual or a learner identity, all within the same conversation. ...
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Pakistan, one of the eight countries comprising South Asia, has more than 212.2 million people, making it the world’s fifth most populous country after China, India, USA, and Indonesia. It has also the world’s second-largest Muslim population. Eberhard et al. (Ethnologue: languages of the world, SIL International, 2020) report 77 languages used by people in Pakistan, although the only two official languages are Urdu and English. After its Independence from the British colonial rule in 1947, it took much deliberation for the country to make a shift from its monolingual Urdu orientation to a multilingual language policy in education in 2009. This entailed a shift from the dominant Urdu language policy for the masses (and English exclusively reserved for elite institutions), to a gradual and promising change that responded to the increasing social demand for English and for including regional languages in the curriculum. Yet English and Urdu dominate the present policy and exclude regional non-dominant languages in education that themselves are dynamic and unstable, and restructured continually due to the de facto multilingual and plurilingual repertoire of the country. Using Bourdieu’s (Outline of a theory of practice Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1977a, The economics of linguistic exchanges. Soc Sci Inform 16:645–668, 1977b, The genesis of the concepts of habitus and field. Sociocriticism 2:11–24 1985, Language and symbolic power Polity Press, Cambridge, 1991) conceptualization of habitus, this study analyzes letters to the editor published between 2002–2009 and 2018–2020 in a leading English daily of Pakistan. The analysis unveils the linguistic dispositions that are discussed in the letters and their restructuring through market forces, demonstrating a continuity between the language policy discourse and public aspirations. The findings also indicate the ambivalences towards Urdu and English in relation to nationalistic ideologies, modernity and identity.
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An observation about pragmatic borrowing from English into various recipient languages is what has been termed "licensing", which, along with semantic bleaching and perceived positive politeness, has been advanced as a motivation for borrowing pragmatic forms from English (see Andersen 2014). In this chapter, the notion of licensing is explored further, drawing on observations from, for example, Matras ([2009] 2020). It has already been proposed that the borrowing of certain English-sourced linguistic items allows a speaker to engage in discourse behavior that is not seen as native (or possibly even appropriate) in the recipient culture or language (Peterson 2017). In this chapter I broaden the perspective of previous research to look at longer stretches of discourse and language choice, demonstrating that perceived ideologies about characteristics of English in native-speaker settings are driving mechanisms in how English is used in foreign language settings, in this case Finland.
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Sociolinguistics has an intricate relationship with the city. Cities have not only acted as sites of sociolinguistic research but have simultaneously provided tools and frameworks that have proven useful in this research. This heuristic mode has subsumed the object of language under a specific body of ideas, facts and arguments. Seen in an epistemological perspective, the city has offered delineations and specifications of language. The figure of the city appears to have created a logical reduction of the ways in which language can be grasped and investigated, framing it as a localised, social and formally heterogeneous, yet moored and well-defined, object. At the same, this reduction has opened up different possibilities for representing and analysing urban space and urban language. I discuss some of these dynamics in this article.
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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.
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This paper presents Pierre Bourdieu's sociological gaze, agenda and toolkit to scholars of language, so as to offer a social theoretical framework within which sociolinguistic questions can be fruitfully investigated. It outlines Bourdieu's dual conception of social life and presents the key thinking tools-field and habitus-with which this dualism can be explored empirically. In addition, it locates work produced at the nexus of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology where Bourdieusian insights have been productively employed. It also discusses Bourdieu's reputation as a macro theorist, and argues that this image must be supplemented with an understanding of his idea that social reality also has a mode of existence in people's bodies, habitus, and practices. The paper argues that Bourdieu's gaze and thinking tools import with them a solid social theoretical base of the comprehension of human practice, including linguistic practice, which therefore offers some purchase to account for the relationship between the market side of language and its embodied manifestations.
Present trends indicate that in the years to come transnational science, whether basic or applied and involving persons, equipment or funding, will grow considerably. The main purpose of this volume is to try to understand the reasons for this denationalization of science, its historical contexts and its social forms. The Introduction to the volume sets out the socio-political, intellectual, and economic contexts for the nationalization and denationalization of the sciences, processes that have extended over four centuries. The articles examine the specific conditions that have given rise to the growth of transnational science in the 20th century. Among these are: the need for cognitive and technical standardization of scientific knowledge-products, pressure toward cost-sharing of large installations such as CERN, the voluntary and involuntary migration of scientists, and the global market for R&D products that has emerged at the end of the century. The volume raises many new questions for research by historians and sociologists of science and poses problems that are of concern both to scientists and science policy-makers.
This paper argues that linguistic skills and awareness are essential requirements for professionals whose work centres on language as a product. Brought about by the commodification of language in developed economies, language work such as brand consulting, text design or online marketing requires linguistic knowledge and resources that many current teaching materials do not provide. Extracts from interviews with a diverse group of language workers allow for first insights into their kind and level of language awareness, but also show that they are more concerned about what they perceive as a lack of language awareness in their clients. This finding suggests a non-linear model of teaching and learning relations between academic linguists, language workers, clients and students. The paper further discusses the options that applied linguists in academia have if they want to work with/as language workers and argues that engaging with language work(ers) can be an opportunity to bring critical language awareness and discourse analytical skills to bear on professional practice and training.
This chapter reports on a small-scale investigation of how linguistic diversity is managed and turned into a resource for social meaning making in an informal, multilingual setting at a Danish university. Although firmly located within the institution of the university, the particular setting (known as a kitchen) represents a liminal space where institutionally implemented regulations and norms of conduct, including norms related to language choice, are less formalised than for instance in classroom settings. When language choice is not a predetermined condition of interaction, the act of selecting or negotiating a medium of interaction becomes a relevant activity for interlocutors to engage in, and we see this repeatedly in our data. Drawing on methods and theoretical insights originating in the Conversation Analytic tradition, we present a number of illustrative examples of the practices of language choice that students display during the formation or reconfiguration of engagement frameworks. We argue that language choice is an important aspect of ‘doing being an international student’ for local as well as non-local students, although the norms the two groups orient to are different.
Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations introduces a new way of looking at the use of English within a global context. Challenging traditional approaches in second language acquisition and English language teaching, this book incorporates recent advances in multilingual studies, sociolinguistics, and new literacy studies to articulate a new perspective on this area. Canagarajah argues that multilinguals merge their own languages and values into English, which opens up various negotiation strategies that help them decode other unique varieties of English and construct new norms.