A fellowship is available for a period of three years extendable to four starting in Fall- Winter 2012 to undertake postgraduate studies in the Departament de Filologia Anglesa at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on the topic Multilingualism and Mobility: Linguistic Practices and the Construction of Identity. The successful candidate will be expected to work with members of the CIEN research team on a full time basis while undertaking their fieldwork and research for their PhD degree. The CIEN research team is a dynamic and international group of researchers who work from a critical sociolinguistic perspective. For further information about the CIEN research team you may consult their webpage.
Applications for the fellowship must be submitted online to the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Research. See webpage for further information on conditions as well as the duration and the amount of the stipend.
Project reference: FFI2011-26964.
Title of Project: Multilingüismo y Movilidad: Prácticas Lingüísticas y la Construcción
de Identidad / Multilingualism and Mobility: Linguistic Practices and the Construction of
Deadline for submitting application: February 8th – February 23rd 2012 (till 3:00pm).
Summary of Research Project
This project focuses on the study of multilingualism from the perspective of the recent mobilities and globalisation paradigm (Vertovec 2006, Pennycook 2007, Blommaert 2010, Urry 2007, Sassen 1998). This paradigm takes up the analysis of multilingual linguistic practices of mobile persons with transnational trajectories who come to Spain and interact and communicate with civic institutions, on the one hand, and with other mobile citizens as well as local persons whose life trajectories are more stable. This research adopts the point of view of these transnational people, taking into account the ways in which they construct their identities within and outside their social networks. The project seeks to examine the way in which information relevant to mobile citizens’ daily lives is obtained and disseminated. It also takes into account the everyday multilingual practices of inmigrants and tourists as well as persons mobile for other reasons and how they communicate with institutions belonging to the public, private and NGO-like sectors (Moyer 2011, 2010, Sabaté i Dalmau 2010, Codo and Garrido 2010). For this reason, it is relevant to study and to generate knowledge on the manner intercultural communication is carried out among transnational citizens. The present project also seeks to examine the categories of mobile persons and to characterize their linguistic practices and understand the intersections of language and multilingual practices with social class, ethnicity, gender and age.
The main aim of this project is to study narratives of the life trajectories and language practices of persons mobile for different reasons in the context of Spain. Informants will be selected from a tourist enclave, an urban neighbourhood, an ethnic business, a multinational company with non-Spanish employees, and a non-profit transnational association or organization. The specific objectives are: (a) to establish the different ways
in which persons who are mobile manage and practice multilingualism in each context (b) to understand different linguistic practices and how they vary according to social class, gender, ethnicity and age, (c) to investigate the role of English as a lingua franca and how it is used among transnational people as an inter-group and intra-group communication strategy, (d) to contribute to the knowledge of a new sociolinguistic
situation in Spanish society from the point of view of the mobilities paradigm, (e) to advance and provide new practical knowledge which can be useful for the management of multilingualism in institutional settings.
A qualitative methodology which requires undertaking extensive ethnographic fieldwork is adopted. The data obtained through participant observation and field notes are complemented with fine-grained transcriptions of audio and when possible video recordings conducted in various contexts, narratives and in-depth interviews (spontaneous and structured) and, finally, supporting documentary data such as legislation, official documents, and media-collected statements from the key representatives of the social networks we aim to investigate. The use of a wide range and multiple types of data allows for the triangulation of findings and provides further evidence supporting our interpretations of the linguistic practices of the social groups under study.
Candidates will be expected to fulfill the following criteria:
1) The intention to enroll or to be actually enrolled in the PhD degree program in the Department of English Philology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Candidates who have not previously completed an MA degree in our Department will also be considered. See the PhD Program in English Philology webpage, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
2) Candidates are expected to have a very good knowledge of English, and a good communicative ability in Spanish and/or Catalan
3) Background in Linguistics with experience and an interest in Sociolinguistics, Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Mobility and Migration
Applicants may be contacted for an interview during the selection process.
Expected date of resolution: November-December 2012. To begin immediately.
For further information contact the Principal Investigator: Melissa G. Moyer