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Languaging and diversity-at-work inside, across and outside educational, work-place and virtual arenas: Contextualizing accountings and performances
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2015 (English)In: Contextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings, 2015Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

My aim here is to firstly, make visible the work that individuals and institutions like schools and work-places “do” in the global North and global South, including virtual arenas Secondly, I will illustrate how analyses across timespace allows for revisiting the ways in which language categories get talked-and-written-into-being and how identity positions get framed in and through social practices and textual accountings. Taking an overarching critical humanistic socially oriented framework that includes a sociocultural perspective and a decolonial position on human communication and identity, I juxtapose data from ethnographic projects at the CCD research group at Örebro University, Sweden ( More specifically my analysis builds upon the following data-sets: (i) video-recordings of social practices inside, across and outside schools, work-places and virtual arenas, (ii) social and traditional media from Sweden and India, and (iii) archives and policy related to educational, work-place and virtual arenas in Sweden and India. A common dimension of the data that is focused includes participant’s access to and use of a number of language varieties.

The findings highlight the incongruence between individuals and institutional accountings in the global North and (i) individuals talk and institutional accountings in the global South, as well as (ii) the performance of languaging and identity in the global North. These findings challenge dominating understandings of language and identity generally and the organization of “special” support for marginalized individuals (“immigrants”, “functionally disabled”) in the global North more specifically. Based on these findings, I raise issues regarding the “technification” of both linguistic diversity and human diversity. The evidence questions the simplistic positions and problematic “webs-of-understandings” (Bagga-Gupta 2012) that frame mono-bi-multilingualism and mono-bi-multiculturalism in the global North. Providing emic understandings of how accountings constitute a core dimension of “collective remembering” (Wertsch 2002) of “imagined communities” (Anderson 1991), I call for “alternative voices” (Hasnain el al 2013) in the Language and Educational Sciences (Bagga-Gupta 2013, 2014a, 2014b). A critical humanistic socially oriented framework challenges current dominant understandings of linguistic diversity and human diversity and highlights the Eurocentric hegemonies that currently frame discourses of globalization.


Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso.

Bagga-Gupta, S. (2012). Challenging understandings of Bilingualism in the Language Sciences from the lens of research that focuses Social Practices. In Eva Hjörne, Geerdina van der Aalsvoort & Guida de Abreu (Eds.) Learning, social interaction and diversity – exploring school practices. pp 85-102. Rotterdam: Sense.

Bagga-Gupta, S. (2013). The Boundary-Turn. Relocating language, identity and culture through the epistemological lenses of time, space and social interactions. In Imtiaz Hasnain, Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta & Shailendra Mohan (Eds.) Alternative Voices: (Re)searching Language, Culture and Identity... pp 28-49. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Bagga-Gupta, S. (2014a). Performing and accounting language and identity: Agency AS actors-in-(inter)action-with-tools. In P. Deters, Xuesong Gao, E. Miller and G. Vitanova-Haralampiev (Eds.) Interdisciplinary approaches to theorizing and analyzing agency and second language learning. pp 113-132. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Bagga-Gupta, S. (2014b). Languaging: Ways-of-being-with-words across Disciplinary Boundaries and Empirical Sites. In: Heli Paulasto, Helka Riionheimo, Lea Meriläinen & Maria Kok, Language Contacts at the Crossroads of Disciplines pp 89-130. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hasnain, I., Bagga-Gupta, S. & Mohan, S. (Eds.) Alternative Voices: (Re)searching Language, Culture and Identity... Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Wertsch, J. (2002). Voices of Collective Remembering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-33400OAI: diva2:1047903
Contextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway, October 8-9, 2015
Available from: 2016-02-06 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2016-11-18Bibliographically approved

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