The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 15th March 2017 from 4:00-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Reflexive language and ethnic minority activism in Hong Kong: A linguistic anthropological approach” and will be delivered by Miguel Pérez-Milans, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics from the Department of Culture, Communication and Media, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. All welcome!
Here is the abstract for this seminar:
This talk engages with Archer’s call to further research on reflexivity and social change under conditions of late modernity (2007, 2010, 2012) from the perspective of existing work on reflexive discourse in the language disciplines (Silverstein 1976, Lucy 1993). Drawing from a sociolinguistic ethnography of the networked trajectories of a group of working-class South Asian youth in Hong Kong (Pérez-Milans & Soto 2014), I analyze the trajectory of Sita, a Hong Kong-born young female with Nepali background. In her trajectory, performative acts of ethnic minority-based activism emerge as key in the enactment of a given set of values, stances, types of persona and situated forms of alignment/disalignment. That is to say, Sita’s enactment of activism is seen in this article as tied to a discourse register (Agha 2007: 147). As such, ‘talking/doing activism’ is inter-textually linked to a speech chain network of a group of secondary school students, teachers, researchers and community-based minority activists engaged with Sita in various interrelated projects for social empowerment. Analysis of interview transcripts, online chats and multimodal artifacts shows the extent to which the coordinated formation of this discourse register probed useful in providing Sita with relevant cultural capital (Bourdieu 1986) with which she shaped her own academic trajectory, from a low-prestige government-subsidized secondary school to an elite international college.