Romanian Youth in Catalonia (Spain). Selfidentification, Languages and Symbolic Capital

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM
Room: Booth 62
Oral Presentation
Cecilio LAPRESTA , Geografía y Sociología, Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Ángel HUGUET , Pedagogy and Psychology, Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Judit JANÉS , Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Clara SANSÓ , Pedagogía y Psicología, Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Adelina IANOS , Pedagogy and Psichology, Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Carmen POALELUNGI , Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Simona POPA , Universidad de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
The contexts marked by the reception of migrants, with a high degree of multilingualism, represent a scenario that clearly reveals the symbolic capital associated with the different languages in contact. In this line, and especially in the case of migrants, it has to be noted that they are facing a necessity to coordinate, build and rebuild their self-identification with the host societies considering the capital linked to languages. In addition, especially in the case of young people, in the process of building their self-identifications and feelings of belonging, family influence and their own life experiences outside of this area may influence the construction of self-identifications in which the symbolic capital of the languages spoken in the residence territories are unequal and highly relevant (Bourdieu, 1985, 1991; Heller, 2000, 2008).

Centred in Catalonia, a bilingual territory of Spain where Catalan and Spanish are co-official languages and where significant Spanish and Catalan nationalist synergies linked to languages have developed, and in the case of young Romanians, the aim of this paper is to analyze the predictive power of parental and non-parental variables related to languages in contact on self-identification with Catalonia.

From a quantitative approach, the main results show the importance of variables that refer to the symbolic realm of language – young people’s language attitudes toward Catalan and Spanish and their self-identification with Spain, as well as the language attitudes and self-identification of their parents – carrying greater weight than other variables of socio-structural character, as the socio-professional or socio-cultural levels, and even the level of Catalan competence.

This work is a part of a research project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (EDU2009-08669EDUC). Ianos, Poalelungi and Popa have a Pre-PhD Grant funded by Catalan Government (2011 FIB 00490 / 2012 FIB 00379 / 2013 FIB 00347 respectively).