Linguistic Capital, School and Immigration: An Ethnography of Contradictions and Resistances.

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Rosario REYES, EMIGRA, Spain
This paper presents the results of an ongoing investigation into the language learning strategies developed by pupils of immigrant Muslim background and their identity reactions in different formal and non-formal learning environments such as schools and mosques, as two case studies in Catalonia, Spain. The role of their place of origin, their religion, their linguistic capital, their skills in connecting community knowledge and school knowledge, and the position in which the school puts them weave a complex identity which helps or hinders their school and social inclusion.

The findings from this comparative approach follows, updates and complicates previous works by Carrasco (2001), Mijares (2006), Martín-Rojo (2007), Gregory (2008), Kenner (2004, 2008), Corona (2012) and Gibson, Carrasco et al. (2013). I will analyse the hierarchical position of the different linguistic and cultural capitals and the assimilation pressure at school as well as its consequences in secondary identity constructions in line with Ogbu’s framework (1991, 1992), and similar developments described in the North American context (Valdés 2001, Delpit & Kilgour, 2002). In addition, I will show different linguistic choices made by the students that, in line with what Woolard (2008) proposed, challenge the dominant linguistic ideologies in the school institutions and what is really promoted by the school with respect to multiple or exclusive identities. Nevertheless, I will analyse the resistance attitudes (Willis, 1988) as well as the different kinds of capital that can be activated in the students with immigrant background from the perspective of the critical race theory and its transforming possibilities through the awareness of the hierarchical positions of their own cultures and languages (Yosso, 2005).