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Conference Paper: Language, activism, and governmentality: A (networked) meta-pragmatic approach

TitleLanguage, activism, and governmentality: A (networked) meta-pragmatic approach
Authors
Issue Date2018
Citation
Sociolinguistics Symposium 22, 2018 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper argues that activism can be more centrally positioned in the theoretical study of reflexivity in late modernity, beyond celebratory approaches, if it is thought of as a discursive practice, one whereby social actors engage meta-reflexively with normative conventions about language, culture and identity. Continuing language-based research into activist projects led by linguistic minorities (Jaffe 1999, Urla 2012), we approach activism through the lens of indexicality of language (Agha 2007). Our 5-year project has examined how youth of Nepali, Pakistani, and Indian backgrounds advanced a social-justice agenda in Hong Kong, in the context of a neoliberal logic pervading provision of schooling and other social services. Expanding on how individual students participated in the enregisterment of a set of discursive and semiotic forms of doing activism (Peréz-Milans & Soto 2017), we shift to a group of female participants, self-dubbed “C-Girls” (C standing for their school class name and values including cooperation, commitment, and cheerfulness). Through description of school assignments, online interactions, and media generated by students, community-based organizations and local mass media, we show how the C-Girls used performative acts of activism in the semiotic production of ethnic and good-girl personae, in service of securing additional funding for their sponsoring social service agency and of advancing social justice goals. From the C-Girls, individual projects also emerged around themes of humanism, patriarchy, and gender that challenged grand narratives of ethnicity and community, contributing to the development of meta-reflexive discourses as community resources for activism. This development provides an excellent language-based entry point to challenging ongoing sociological discussions in which reflexivity is seen as an emergent property of the self that results from increasing uncertainty (Archer 2012).
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/259795

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorPérez-Milans, MPM-
dc.contributor.authorSoto Pineda, CE-
dc.date.accessioned2018-09-03T04:14:10Z-
dc.date.available2018-09-03T04:14:10Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationSociolinguistics Symposium 22, 2018-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/259795-
dc.description.abstractThis paper argues that activism can be more centrally positioned in the theoretical study of reflexivity in late modernity, beyond celebratory approaches, if it is thought of as a discursive practice, one whereby social actors engage meta-reflexively with normative conventions about language, culture and identity. Continuing language-based research into activist projects led by linguistic minorities (Jaffe 1999, Urla 2012), we approach activism through the lens of indexicality of language (Agha 2007). Our 5-year project has examined how youth of Nepali, Pakistani, and Indian backgrounds advanced a social-justice agenda in Hong Kong, in the context of a neoliberal logic pervading provision of schooling and other social services. Expanding on how individual students participated in the enregisterment of a set of discursive and semiotic forms of doing activism (Peréz-Milans & Soto 2017), we shift to a group of female participants, self-dubbed “C-Girls” (C standing for their school class name and values including cooperation, commitment, and cheerfulness). Through description of school assignments, online interactions, and media generated by students, community-based organizations and local mass media, we show how the C-Girls used performative acts of activism in the semiotic production of ethnic and good-girl personae, in service of securing additional funding for their sponsoring social service agency and of advancing social justice goals. From the C-Girls, individual projects also emerged around themes of humanism, patriarchy, and gender that challenged grand narratives of ethnicity and community, contributing to the development of meta-reflexive discourses as community resources for activism. This development provides an excellent language-based entry point to challenging ongoing sociological discussions in which reflexivity is seen as an emergent property of the self that results from increasing uncertainty (Archer 2012).-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofSociolinguistics Symposium 22, 2018-
dc.titleLanguage, activism, and governmentality: A (networked) meta-pragmatic approach -
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailSoto Pineda, CE: cesoto@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authoritySoto Pineda, CE=rp02431-
dc.identifier.hkuros288198-

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