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Going beyond "single grand stories" in the Language and Educational Sciences. A turn towards alternatives
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2018 (English)In: Aligarh Journal of Linguistics, ISSN 2249-1511, Vol. 8, p. 127-147Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

At an overarching level, and the key argument I offer in this paper is the need to go beyond the “single grand story” in order to make visible, the naturalization of Northern hegemonies in how language and identity are conceptualized, and the (continuing) marginalization of studies where social actions or practices are center-staged. Building upon a conceptual critique of the continuing hegemonies of these single stories in the Language and Educational Sciences, my aim is to raise issues from and contribute conceptually towards sociocultural perspectives and decolonial studies (also called Southern Theories).

I attend to this task by firstly, center-staging analytical engagement with people’s social actions and secondly, by engaging with alternative epistemologies and issues from the global-South (Khubchandani 1997, Maldonado-Torres 2011). I take a point of departure in a sociocultural perspective on communication and participation (Linell 2009, Säljö 2005) that builds significantly upon Wittgenstein (Rorty 2006) and others’ writings on a Linguistic-Turn, and Maldonado-Torres (2011) and others’ writings on a Decolonial-Turn. Going beyond, the mirroring/ representational functions of language and drawing upon critical humanistic perspectives (Bagga-Gupta 2017a, Bagga-Gupta 2017b) allow for, I argue, asking critical (new) questions that enable the illumination of Northern hegemonies (Gramling 2016, Makoni 2012).

My vantage point for enabling this enterprise is engagements in multi-sited inter/transdisciplinary ethnographic projects in the nation-states of Sweden and India across three decades. These projects, situated at the CCD, Communication, Culture and Diversity research group (www.ju.se/ccd), have been enriched though dialogues with scholars situated in the global-South, and in particular my engagements at Aligarh Muslim University and Mumbai University in India since 2010. Key points of departure in what I call a Second Wave of Southern Theory is paying heed to the plurality of spaces within and across the global-North/South. This calls for, amongst other things, the need to accord visibility to Southern spaces in the North and Northern spaces in the South. Furthermore, key issues relate to raising questions regarding what language and identity are, where, when, why and for whom language and identity are central in contemporary human existence, including in academic explorations (Bagga-Gupta, Hansen & Feilberg 2017, Finnegan 2015).

The continuing silencing – visual, auditory, verbal, embodied – of alternative narratives regarding “normal” human communication and “normal” diversity on the one hand, and the continuing hegemonies of boundary-marked and -marking global-North epistemologies on the other hand, constitute the tension grounds that emerge in analysis of mundane language-use or languaging in face-to-face, digital and text-based interactions from the projects at CCD. This calls for the need to break the silence of the circularity and taken-for-grantedness of single grand stories regarding the nature of language and identity, including the need to engage with alternative conceptual framings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aligarh Muslim University , 2018. Vol. 8, p. 127-147
Keywords [en]
Languaging, Language Studies, Educational Sciences, Silencing, Representations, Alternativeturn, Southern Theory
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42343Local ID: PP HLK 2018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-42343DiVA, id: diva2:1272045
Available from: 2018-12-18 Created: 2018-12-18 Last updated: 2019-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta

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