Professor Richard Baldauf Jr.

Richard Baldauf
Keynote speaker

Colic Peisker

Val Colic Peisker
Keynote speaker

Dr Donna Butorac, Curtin University of Technology

Donna Butorac
Featured speaker

Dr Kimie Takahashi, Assumption University of Thailand

Kimie Takahashi
Featured speaker

Vera Williams Tetteh

Vera Williams Tetteh

Mahesh Radhakrishnan

Mahesh Radhakrishnan

Simon Musgrave


Victoria Benz


Sally Dixon


Grace Chang


Charlotte Setijadi


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[tab: Abstract]
Colic PeiskerMulticultural middle class and the ‘foreign accent’: negotiating the field of symbolic power in Australia
Val Colic-Peisker 

This paper explores the language, and especially the [‘foreign’] accent, as a site of symbolic power and potential barrier to social inclusion, focusing on the experience of non-English-speaking-background (NESB) professionals in Australia. In analysing various aspects of social inclusion such as employment integration, acculturation, social network building, identity and the feeling of belonging, the analysis builds on the conceptual frameworks of Michael Clyne and Pierre Bourdieu. The paper argues that ‘bonus’ linguistic and cultural capital bestowed on native English speakers in the globalised and internet-connected world influences the balance of symbolic power between Anglo-Australians and NESBs, and creates resistance to further recognizing the value of bilingualism, multilingualism and intercultural competence. The paper investigates a possibility that the increased diversity and especially the presence of a growing ‘multicultural middle class’ in Australia may be a force towards a higher appreciation of languages-other-than-English as symbolic capital rather than a liability indicated by the ‘foreign accent’. The paper builds on the author’s personal experience of ‘living in another language’, her interpreting work in Australia and her sociological research into the settlement experience of NESB migrants in Australia, as well as on autobiographical and life writing of NESB migrants in English speaking countries.
[tab: Val Colic-Peisker]
Colic PeiskerVal Colic-Peisker (School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University) is a sociologist whose central research interest is migration and mobility in association with issues of class, ethnicity, identity, community, multiculturalism, globalization, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. Over the past 15 years she has conducted research into experiences, and especially employment integration, of NESB settlers in Australia. Val has worked as a journalist, author, translator, interpreter and radio-producer and presenter before becoming an academic. She has taught at several Australian universities and published extensively in mainstream and academic media. Her articles have appeared in Journal of Sociology, International Migration, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Global Networks, Discourse and Society, International Migration Review, Sociology and other refereed journals. Her books include Migration, class and transnational identities: Croatians in Australia and America, (Urbana and Chicago: Illinois University Press, 2008) and Split Lives: Croatian Australian Stories (Fremantle Arts Centre Press 2004). Since 2009, Val has convened the inter-university Migration and Mobility Research Network in Melbourne.
[tab: Presentation]

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