TLANG Seminar: Language, social media and migration: the role of mobile communication technologies in migrants’ everyday lives

I’m excited to speak at the Language, social media and migration TLANG seminar next February in Birmingham. My talk will offer insights into newly arrived Syrian refugees’ everyday lives and their respective habitual digital literacy practices. More information can be found below:

Research seminar

Language, social media and migration:

the role of mobile communication technologies in migrants’ everyday lives

Friday 2nd February 2018, 10am – 4:00pm

139, School of Education, University of Birmingham

Hosted by the AHRC-funded project Translation and Translanguaging (TLANG)

This seminar explores the use of social media, particularly as conducted via mobile technology, by individuals in contexts of mobility and migration. It takes into account the fact that digital interactions are usually intertwined with ‘offline’ activities and that social media platforms are generally embedded into physical contexts, with the result that people move fluidly between online and offline environments in performing identity, building relationships and carrying out everyday tasks and negotiations. The methodological implications include the need for a form of blended linguistic ethnography which explores the situated nature of online communicative practices within individuals’ wider lives.

The role of social media in the process of integration into a new country is of increasing significance to many migrants, as they maintain and exploit links to their countries of origin at the same time as making new connections in a host country, and as they seek to resist and subvert the ways in which they can be positioned in a host country. By focusing on how migrants actively exploit digital technology as they integrate into a host country, we also respond to public concern around migration and social integration following such high profile events as the migration crisis in Europe and the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

The seminar brings together sociolinguistics scholars and ethnographers working in these areas, including the TLANG team, in order to share empirical data and insights and to work towards developing theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches.

Invited speakers (confirmed):

Jannis Androutsopoulos, University of Hamburg

Maria Sabate i Dalmau, Universitat de Lleida

Caroline Tagg, Open University (TLANG)

Kristin Vold Lexander, University of Oslo

Stefan Vollmer, University of Leeds

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