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Vidéo Année : 2021

Mixing methodologies to address language and mobility in transnational families



Families as basic social institutions (Rawls 2001) are held responsible for transmission of languages, continuation of social practices and the integration of the individual into society. The idea for this panel emerged from a cooperation of two research teams from France and Norway that started in 2017. In this dialogue relevant topics were collected that we are now exploring with a particular focus on methodological issues. The different linguistic and social backgrounds allow each researcher to reflect on conscious choices regarding participants and methods, and they also help to uncover unconscious bias potentially linked to expectations towards ‘good family life’, what constitutes a ‘family’ and ‘successful’ language policy in the context of transnational mobility. Ethnographic, biographic and genealogic approaches have certain characteristics in common: they start from the multilingual individual and their surroundings and try to relate the individual experiences to larger social and discursive contexts. Everyday (language and social) practices are at the core of ethnographic research while biographies center around the language portraits, the lifestories and the lived experiences of speakers. These lifestories open ways into genealogies that can illustrate language shift as well as changes in language orientation across several generations. In a first part, we will revisit a number of available methodologies for research on family language policy, inspired by short presentations from ten contributors who will talk about their experiences in different settings. The geographical range covers Norway, France, Germany, Colombia, Brazil and Guyane as well as other countries as part of the transnational repertoires. In the second part of the panel, we aim to facilitate a discussion about further methodological challenges arising around the oral use of languages. Family language practices are a good observation point of oral uses of languages as well as transmission strategies whereas interviews and lifestories may bring ideologies about orality in its relation to written forms of language at the front core.

Dates et versions

hal-03855856 , version 1 (16-11-2022)



  • HAL Id : hal-03855856 , version 1


Isabelle Léglise, Shahzaman Haque, Françoise Le Lièvre, Chan-Yuen Liu, Pierre-Jean Vigny, et al.. Mixing methodologies to address language and mobility in transnational families
: Politique linguistique familiale : oralité et transmission. 2021. ⟨hal-03855856⟩
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