Sustaining linguistic diversity within the global cultural economy: issues of language rights and linguistic possibilities
Rassool, N. (2004) Sustaining linguistic diversity within the global cultural economy: issues of language rights and linguistic possibilities. Comparative Education, Special Issue: Postcolonialism and Comparative Education, 40 (2). pp. 199-214. ISSN 0305-0068
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/0305006042000231356
This paper draws on ethnographic case-study research conducted amongst a group of first and second generation immigrant children in six inner-city schools in London. It focuses on language attitudes and language choice in relation to cultural maintenance, on the one hand, and career aspirations on the other. It seeks to provide insight into some of the experiences and dilemmatic choices encountered and negotiations engaged in by transmigratory groups, how they define cultural capital, and the processes through which new meanings are shaped as part of the process of defining a space within the host society. Underlying this discussion is the assumption that alternative cultural spaces in which multiple identities and possibilities can be articulated already exist in the rich texture of everyday life amongst transmigratory groups. The argument that whilst the acquisition of 'world languages' is a key variable in accumulating cultural capital, the maintenance of linguistic diversity retains potent symbolic power in sustaining cohesive identities is a recurring theme.