Art as a trigger for reflection in sociolinguistic migration research

  • Katrin Ahlgren Stockholm University, Sweden
Keywords: Sociolinguistics, Migration, Arts-based methods, Representation


Research methods that are inspired by the arts have recently become subject to increasing attention for language researchers working in migration contexts. There are several examples that show how arts-based methods can be used in socially-engaged research in order to better understand language practices and ideologies. Drawing on a longitudinal study of lived experience of language use in Sweden, the present article demonstrates how language portraits and poetic transcriptions have the potential to generate alternative narratives and creative forms of representation. Moreover, the article illustrates how participatory action research can prompt migrants to reflect on their experiences and emotions together with others in the creation of drama performances. These kind of visual-, textual-, and performativerepresentations have a connotative force that invites the receiver to emotionally engage with migrants. Such representations can thus function as a trigger for reflection and enable people to react to un-equal sociolinguistic orders.


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