Language, Asylum, and the National Order

26-11-2010 | Jan Blommaert Universiteiten van Tilburg en Gent

Prof. dr. Jan Blommaert van de Universiteiten van Tilburg en Gent won met dit artikel de de Barbara Metzger Price gewonnen. Prof. dr. Jan Blommaert van de Universiteiten van Tilburg en Gent heeft met dit artikel de de Barbara Metzger Price gewonnen.

This paper discusses modernist reactions to postmodern realities. Asylum seekers inWestern Europe— people typically inserted into postmodern processes of globalization—are routinely subjected to identification analyses that emphasize the national order. The paper documents the case of a Rwandan refugee in the United Kingdom whose nationality was disputed by the Home Office because of his “abnormal” linguistic repertoire. An analysis of that repertoire, however, supports the applicant’s credibility. The theoretical problematic opposes two versions of sociolinguistics: a sociolinguistics of languages, used by the Home Office, and a sociolinguistics of speech and repertoires, used in this paper. The realities of modern reactions to postmodern phenomena must be taken into account as part of the postmodern phenomenology of language in society.

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