The central theme of the seminar is the relevance of spatio-temporal scale for an analysis of contemporary globalization-affected multilingual practice in advanced industrial societies. I will begin with an analysis of the organization of forms of language support in local health care provision, incl. the relevance of top-down and bottom-up policy, the occurrence of language hierarchies and a hierarchy of mediation strategies, the role of language ideologies in in situ expert decision-making, etc. I will continue by exploring how an analysis of spatio-temporal scale can be usefully employed to extend the analysis a wider societal ecology of resources. I will draw on case studies of neighbourhood health clinics in Ghent (Belgum/Flanders) and workface-related mobile health provisions in upstate New York (in both cases, Jim Collins of SUNY/Albany has been a major collaborator).
My three central hypotheses are: (1) that in a context in which the globalization-affected neighbourhoods have been declared to be “superdiverse”, the role of the state and the classificatory practices that come with its functioning, continues to shape multilingual developments across institutional fields; (2) that such developments must be studied ethnographically with “feet on the ground”-analyses of processes of globalization and how these contribute to the production of layered localities; and (3) that the concepts of scale and sociolinguistic scale provide indispensable tools for analyzing both macro and micro aspects of the situated dynamics of migration-driven, multilingual language contact.
J. Collins & S. Slembrouck, 2006, “You don’t know what they translate. Language contact, institutional procedure, and literacy practice in neighbourhood health clinics in urban Flanders”. Journal of Linguistics Anthropology, 16, 249-68.
J. Collins & S. Slembrouck, 2014, “Classifying migrants in the field of health care: sociolinguistic scale and neoliberal statecraft”. In: M. Prinsloo & C. Stroud (eds.), Language, Literature and Diversity. Moving Words, London: Routledge.
S. Slembrouck, forthc., Language ideologies and the logic of scale: a perspective on community interpreting in Flanders’. In: G. Caliendo, R. Jansens, S. Slembrouck, P. Van Avermaet (eds.), Urban Multilingualism in the EU.