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My Optimism Wears Heavy Boots: So much research, so few implications, towards ‘patient-proof’ empirical models and more effective interventions in mental health 11

The Construction of Local Identities through Language Practices

Year Group 2012/13

This theme group wants to clarify how under conditions of globalization and superdiversity processes of identity formation in the ‘margins’ are driven by power asymmetries between people living in the centre and the periphery.

About the topic

Much recent sociolinguistic research informed by theories of globalization, superdiversity, and polylanguaging, has a clear bias toward the study of metropolitan, ethnically diverse areas. Areas considered peripheral or marginal vis-à-vis centres of political and economic dominance have, until now, received relatively little attention. Of course, people living in the ‘margins’ are not immune to the effects of globalization and rapid technological change. More than ever before, people, material objects, as well as images, sounds, and other immaterial cultural objects are constantly on the move. As they move and mix through time and space, they constantly form new ensembles and are invested with novel, instable, often ambiguous meanings. This theme group wants to clarify how under such conditions of globalization and superdiversity processes of identity formation in the ‘margins’ are driven by power asymmetries between people living in the centre and the periphery.

Leonie Cornips, Theme Group Coordinator

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