Center for the Study of Language and Society

Mobility, migration and reciprocity: A look at communicative practices an identity constructions within a transient community

Freitag, 21.02.2020, 16:15 Uhr

Das Forum Language and Society ist eine Reihe von Gastvorträgen zu Themen der Soziolinguistik. Doktorierende der GSAH können sich die Teilnahme als Zuhörende mit 0,25 ECTS pro Vortrag anrechnen lassen. MA Studierende der Soziolinguistik können sich nach Teilnahme an 6 Vorträgen 1 ECTS anrechnen lassen.

Veranstaltende: Forum Language and Society
Redner, Rednerin: Anna De FIna
Datum: 21.02.2020
Uhrzeit: 16:15 - 17:45 Uhr
Ort: F-121
Lerchenweg 36
3012 Bern
Merkmale: Öffentlich

Mainstream and widespread media discourses about migrants in Europe are not only overwhelmingly negative, but also dominated by unidirectional metaphors of flow in which migrants are seen as either having to be excluded from society or  as needing to be integrated into it. Such conceptualizations ignore a very basic fact: mobile individual and members of local communities cross each other ‘s paths, construct multiple networks of connections based not merely on work relationships but also on reciprocal relations of affection and friendships and on the sharing of knowledge and information. Sociologists Papadoupoulos and Tsianos (2013) have proposed the interesting construct of “mobile commons” to characterize the forms of knowledge and communication, the virtual and concrete spaces  of sharing and sociability and the “infrastructure of connectivity” (p. 191) thatmigrants set up when they are on the road and when they arrive somewhere. In my view it is however, important to recognize that mobile commons often include local networks and individuals, not only migrants. These networks generate new communicative spaces and practices, often characterized by translanguaging and by the creation of new chronotopic identities and understandings of social reality.

In this talk I explore one such space generated through the online communications of a transient community conformed by migrant youth of different origins and their Italian friends. I analyze their  linguistic and communicative routines and chronotopic constructions in order to illustrate how cultural and linguistic differences are navigated and how relationships and new identities are consolidated. My talk is based on ethnographic work carried out for the last two years with students and teachers at the School of Italian for Foreigners managed by the University of Palermo, a center that focuses on both teaching and social inclusion for migrants.



Papadopoulos, D. & Tsianos, V.  (2013). After citizenship: autonomy of migration, organisational ontology and mobile commons, Citizenship Studies, 17:2, 178-196.