BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Transnational experience, aspiration and family language policy

    Zhu, Hua and Li, Wei (2016) Transnational experience, aspiration and family language policy. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 37 (7), pp. 655-666. ISSN 0143-4632.

    FLP special issue JMMD_Zhu_Hua_and_Li_Wei_final for Biron.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (293kB) | Preview


    Transnational and multilingual families have become commonplace in the 21st century. Yet relatively few attempts have been made from applied and socio-linguistics perspectives to understand what is going on within such families; how their transnational and multilingual experiences impact on the family dynamics and their everyday life; how they cope with the new and ever-changing environment, and how they construct their identities and build social relations. In this article we start from the premise that bilingualism and multilingualism mean different things to different generations and individuals within the same family. Additive Bilingualism, which is often celebrated for the positive benefits of adding a second language and culture without replacing or displacing the first, cannot be taken for granted as a common experience of the individuals in transnational families. Using data gathered from a sociolinguistic ethnography of three multilingual and transnational families from China in Britain, we discuss the experiences of different generations and individuals in dealing with bilingualism and multilingualism and how their experiences affect the way individual family members perceive social relations and social structures and construct and present their own identities. The key argument we wish to put forward is that more attention needs to be paid to the diverse experiences of the individuals and to the `strategies they use to deal with the challenges of multilingualism, rather than the overall patterns of language maintenance and language shift.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): transnational family, Chinese, Britain, generation, family ethnography
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Zhu Hua
    Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 14:03
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:37


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item