Researching linguistic markets in multilingual teams.

Lorente, Beatriz; Meier, S.; Muth, S.; Duchêne, A. (July 2017). Researching linguistic markets in multilingual teams. (Unpublished). In: International Symposium of Bilingualism. Limerick, Ireland.

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The notion of the linguistic market (Bourdieu 1991) has become central to understanding how relations of power shape the convertibility of linguistic capital. In contrast to earlier assumptions that linguistic markets are unified, recent research has emphasized how this unification is not absolute and how multiple autonomous linguistic markets may simultaneously exist (cf. Duchêne and Heller 2012, Vigouroux 2013). In this regard, it is critical to think of a linguistic market as being a “dynamic multidimensional network of lattices rather than a rigidly defined strict hierarchical structure” (Park and Wee 2012, 29). Capturing and accounting for this changing and overlapping nature of linguistic markets and the ways in which social actors are embedded in them can be a challenge for researchers. This paper shows how multilingual research teams conducting ethnographic research could capitalize on multilingual researcher identities in order to begin to understand and capture the micro-processes that contribute to the dynamism and relative instability of linguistic markets. To do this, this paper revisits aspects of an ongoing research project on the multilingual mobilities of workers and patients within the Swiss healthcare industry. Specifically, we focus on a two-month period where the four researchers conducted intensive fieldwork in a clinic at a university hospital in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. We show how the researchers’ and participants’ different and sometimes, asymmetric linguistic repertoires (Ganassin and Holmes 2013), shaped relationships in the field, allowing insights into when and how multilingual resources and practices became (in)visible in the linguistic markets of the clinic. These insights enabled us to establish continuities between linguistic markets, to interrogate their different configurations. The paper also highlights the concrete steps the research team took in order to critically and collaboratively reflect on the researchers’ positionalities.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Lorente, Beatriz


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
400 Language > 410 Linguistics




Beatriz Lorente

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2018 08:06

Last Modified:

06 Aug 2021 14:40


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