Migrants' identities in multilingual cities: Plurilingualism as transformative social asset

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The ways in which migrants express, construct and negotiate their identities reveal a dynamic interplay between their discourses on how they relate to the world and the representations that shape their sense of belonging. In urban contexts, individuals’ plurilingual repertoires and transnational identities display the constant mediation migrants are involved in when they navigate their social trajectories. Migrants’ plurilingual repertoires and practices emphasize the role of language(s) in the exercise of power and illustrate how urban spaces participate in sociolinguistic stratification. However, by crossing borders between languages, cultures and spaces, migrants counterbalance the effects of the segregation that cities may impose on them and set in motion new complex plural affiliations to re-appropriate their life stories. In doing so, they break away from dominant homogeneous social discourses; they cut across the traditional deficit perspective associated with their language practice and give value to plurilingualism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultilingualism and Identity
Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsLinda Fisher, Wendy Ayres-Bennett
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameCambridge Education Research
PublisherCambridge University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • mobility
  • urban spaces
  • plurilingual repertoires
  • identity
  • polyphony
  • social positioning


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