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Language use on the move: sites of encounter, identities and belonging

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The role of language in relation to identity formation has received relatively little attention from geographers. Here, drawing on empirical research with Somali young people (aged 11–18) now living in the UK, we explore the role that choice and use of language play in how young people make sense of their identities and affiliations within the specific situated context of everyday encounters at home, and school. In doing so, we explore the role of language as a situated practice in (re)making identities in local contexts, and the possibility that language can change the way that spaces are ordered.

Keywords: Somali; identity; interviews; language use; migration

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN

Publication date: July 1, 2008


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