|Full Title:||Sociolinguistics of Revolution in World’s Capital Cities: From Organization to Realization|
|Start Date:||22-Aug-2012 - 24-Aug-2012|
|Meeting Email:||click here to access email|
The year 2011 can be characterized as the year of global revolutions: Tunis, Cairo, Tripoli, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Athens, London, and recently New York are some of the most prominent examples of major world capitals, where revolts between common people and authorities have taken place. The common thread that runs through these cities is their transformation under the current form of globalization, characterized by stretched social relations, increasing interpenetration of local and global processes, the intensification of interactions and flows, and the development of a global, transnational infrastructure (Mac Giolla Chríost 2007: 75). This has led to a worldwide economic and political crisis, translated into high rates of unemployment and general dissatisfaction with government-initiated austerity measures, both of which generate social unrest triggered by the example of one country and then spread more broadly.
A key factor in both the organization and the realization of these revolutions is language, instances of which can be found in all aspects of revolution: from Facebook invitations to participate in major anti-authority gatherings in central squares to revolutionary manifestos; from people’s cries against the authorities to graffiti and placards created by active revolutionaries. Both offline and online, written and spoken uses of language contribute towards the construction of revolution, which in turn as both an ideology and a practice channels people to particular uses of language. These uses of language have a social impact, hence they fall under the scope of sociolinguistics of globalization (Blommaert 2010, chapters in Collins and al. 2009 and in Coupland 2010), an emerging strand of research focusing on mobile resources, framed in terms of trans-contextual networks, flows and movements (Blommaert 2010: 1).
Against this backdrop, the aim of the panel is to bring together scholars interested in analyzing major contemporary urban social phenomena, and more specifically recent revolutions, from a sociolinguistics (of globalization) perspective. Globalized sociolinguistics of revolution seeks to answer a wide range of questions that problematize traditional concepts of sociolinguistics, such as ‘community of practice’ and ‘multilingualism’, to name just a few. How would we characterize the masses of people involved in these revolutions across different countries? Are they a community of practice, given their orientation to the lived texture of the situated experience of revolution? But then, if we accept that they are, then what is their shared repertoire, which is one of the core features of a community of practice (Wenger 1998)? In other words, how can multilingualism be seen as a shared repertoire in the context of globalized revolution? What are the social meanings attached to the discourses of revolution that index the ideology of revolution? How does this ideology translate into revolutionary (socio)linguistic practices in both online and offline contexts? What is the role of sociolinguistic repertoires in this translation process? How do these repertoires mediate between the organization and the realization of revolution and what can this mediation tell us sociolinguistically?
|Linguistic Subfield:||Anthropological Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics|
This is a session of the following meeting:
Sociolinguistics Symposium 19
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