chapter  5
13 Pages

Negotiation of Identities across Times and Spaces

ByADRIAN BLACKLEDGE, ANGELA CREESE

Any study of multilingualism and identities is situated in and subject to its social, cultural, political, and historical context. Investigation of multilingualism today is conducted at a time of increasing movement of people across borders, and of rapid development of accessible forms of communication which take little or no account of territory. Both of these dimensions, the global movement of people and the development and availability of digital communication, are factors which play into our understandings of multilingualism in late-modern societies. Linguistic practices move across time and space, changing as they go, taking with them old a liations, at times shedding these a liations and accruing new investments. In this process of movement and change linguistic practices come to constitute a terrain for competition, a point of negotiation, a market-place where some practices are valued more highly than others, and where the value of certain practices changes with each new political economy.