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Accounting for and (re)visiting special needs: the identity of language and the language of identity
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2013 (English)In: Panel “Social Workers andusers encounters – narrative and accounting practices”, 2013Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

My interest in this paper is twofold: first, to make visible the work that participants and institutions do throughanalyses of naturally occurring communication, including policy texts over time. Second, by using a range ofrepresentational techniques, illustrate how multimodal analyses across time and space allows for revisiting theways in which language categories get talked-and-written-into-being and how identity positions become framedin and through social practices. This data-driven contribution takes both a socially oriented perspective and apostcolonial framework on human ways-with-words and human ways-of-being. It is based upon analyses ofethnographically framed video-recordings of mundane activities, naturally occurring or data-prompteddiscussions and policy texts vis-à-vis different institutional settings in Sweden where Swedish Sign Language,SSL is used in addition to Swedish and English.My previous studies in a range of settings inside and outside schools across time in Sweden have highlighted theneed for “Going beyond the great divide” (Bagga-Gupta 2004, 2007) in both research and education for studentswith hearing impairment. This divide points to the highly dichotomized state of deaf research, institutional fieldsand discussions therein vis-à-vis oralism-signing, integration-segregation, normality-disability,medical/psychological-cultural, monolingualism-bilingualism etc. Transcending these dichotomies (and theconcomitant normative positions that they are tagged with), I juxtapose ethnographic data from primarily twoareas brought together under the umbrella concepts “languaging” and “diversity/identity” research with theintention of exploring how special needs are accounted for through the systematic analysis of data-sets from twolarge scale Swedish national research projects where fieldwork was conducted in deaf schools since 1996. Dataincludes video-taped classroom life in signing environments, video-data prompted oral reflections and policydata including discussions during the 1990s that lead to the establishment of some of these projects.Analysis focuses upon exploring the ways in which individuals and institutions account for the special needs ofpupils with a functional disability. What are the ways in which language use in itself frames identity positions indifferent sites (and across time)? How do micro-interactional analysis and the use of time and space ininstitutional settings inform issues related to inclusion/exclusion? What is the status that is accorded differentlanguage varieties in these settings and how does this status frame accounting practices related to special needs?The preliminary findings in this study challenge current understandings attributed to identity and languagegenerally and the organization of (segregated) education for the deaf in Sweden more specifically. Issues are alsoraised with regards to the ways in which individuals and both SSL and Swedish become “technified”. This paperpresents evidence that questions the polarized positions between linguistic-medical, signed-spoken/writtenlanguage varieties, mono-bilingualism and deaf-hearing worlds. The analysis contributes to the growing researchliterature where detailed analyses of textual discourses and signing-oral-written interaction can both provide anemic understanding of how narratives and accounting are a core aspect of the negotiation of identity positions aswell as illustrate the Third Position in the area of special needs.

Bagga-Gupta, S (2007) Going beyond the Great Divide. Reflections from deaf studies. Örebro, Sweden. Deaf Worlds. International Journalof Deaf Studies. Special theme issue: The meaning and place of “Deaf Studies” 23.2 & 3: 69-87.

Bagga-Gupta, S (2004) Visually oriented bilingualism. Discursive and technological resources in Swedish Deaf pedagogical arenas. In VHerreweghe, and M. Vermeerbergen (eds.), To the Lexicon and Beyond. Sociolinguistics in European Deaf Communities, Volume 10. The Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series. Editor C. Lucas. Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press, pp. 171-207.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Social Sciences Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-33429OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-33429DiVA: diva2:1047877
Conference
13th IPrA, International Pragmatics Association Conference. 8 to 13 September 2013 in New Delhi, India.
Note

Länk till konferensens startsida: http://ipra.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.CONFERENCE13&n=1438

Available from: 2013-05-25 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2017-07-12Bibliographically approved

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