Einfach sprachlos but not simply speechless: language(s), thought and practice in the social sciences

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Abstract:

Based on the authors’ experiences as German-language speakers working at different stages of their careers within Anglo-American human geography, this article reflects on the workings of (foreign) language, not only through academic publications but more widely in research contexts and everyday work. This is done by three personal observations, highlighting the relevance of (foreign) language interactions in terms of research practice as well as the poetics and politics of language. We argue that a wider recognition of language in the practical terms of academic work is called for in the light of an increasing ‘internationalization’ of academia.

Keywords: (foreign) language; Anglo-American human geography; poetics of language; politics of language; positionality; qualitative research methods

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2005.00627.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow G12 8RS, Email: g.helms@socsci.gla.ac.uk 2: Department of Geography, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany 3: Department of Geography and Geomatics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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