LINGUIST List 26.3093

Wed Jul 01 2015

Diss: Discourse Analysis, Sociolinguistics: Tyler A. Barrett: 'Effects of Babel in the Church: A Study of Language Planning, Policy and Practice in Japanese Ethnic Churches'

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <ashleylinguistlist.org>


Date: 30-Jun-2015
From: Tyler Barrett <tyler.barrettdliflc.edu>
Subject: Effects of Babel in the Church: A Study of Language Planning, Policy and Practice in Japanese Ethnic Churches
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Institution: University of Calgary
Program: Graduate Division of Educational Research
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2015

Author: Tyler A. Barrett

Dissertation Title: Effects of Babel in the Church: A Study of Language Planning, Policy and Practice in Japanese Ethnic Churches

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Sociolinguistics

Dissertation Director(s):
Sylvie Roy

Dissertation Abstract:

In the globalizing world, it is difficult to understand the cultural, linguistic, religious and policy landscape of Japanese ethnic church communities. Japanese ethnic church communities in Western Canada consist of, and are impacted by, levels of language planning, policy, and practice as they are communities that operate within and without macro-levels of language policies (i.e., Official Language Act and the Canadian Multicultural Act), meso-levels of church policies (e.g., church websites and Facebook pages), and micro-levels that are often determined by perspectives of church members who are typically Japanese people from Japan. Japanese ethnic churches are also spaces that function to legitimize the language and cultural practices of Japanese people who come to Canada for various purposes and periods of time. Since little research has been done to understand the language and cultural practices of Japanese ethnic churches in Western Canada, it is important to ask the following question: What is a Japanese ethnic church community in terms of language and cultural practices? To answer this question, I use language planning and policy (Johnson, 2009) as a theoretical framework and a multi-site case study (Thomas, 2011) that consists of data collected
through interviews and observational experiences which are analyzed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) (Fairclough, 2003; Gumperz, 1982; Onodera, 2004) to understand relationships of power and intertextuality in discourses and in social practices relevant to Japanese ethnic church communities in Western Canada. The analysis reveals that while Japanese ethnic churches are spaces of legitimization that are fueled by strong beliefs about one nation, one culture, and one language ideologies, and subsequently aimed at, and dependent upon facilitating the perceived Japanese language and cultural preferences/needs of first generation Japanese people who come to Canada as adults, church members also perceive themselves as becoming “mixed” to varying degrees as they are impacted by the dominant English language policies, practices, and culture in Western Canada. As a result, legitimization is often context dependent and experienced differently by church members within and without Japanese ethnic churches.

Page Updated: 01-Jul-2015