The course aims at providing the students with knowledge of the general features of Globalization and of its by-product, superdiversity and with how these phenomena do affect the language people use in their everyday exchanges. In so doing, the course focuses on fundamental notions of communication, culture and social structure, as well as on the connection between ethno-cultural and sociolinguistic differences and social inequalities.
Students will learn on the basis of their presentations how to render a text written for an academic audience, into a divulgative text that will then be submitted to the online magazine Diggit for review and comments. The aim is that all students (in groups) have a go at working at the putting together of a Diggit article.
The course will alternate taught classes with research based classes on contemporary topics that touch upon the different facets of globalisation and in which language and communication are keys. Take for instance, language and institutional exclusion; language, asylum seeking practices and the internet.
Globalization processes have made intercultural communication into the default mode of communication, even if most people do not experience their everyday interactions over email, skype, Facebook or Twitter (nor their consumption of African music, reggae and hiphop, or of American movies and Nintendo games) as instances of the sociolinguistics of globalization. The latter in fact, has quietly crept into our everyday lives, and this course is intended to raise the awareness of this new and vital dimension of communication. We have to start with some demolition work, un-thinking some widely shared assumptions about culture, identity, language and, with that, communication. After that, we look at some crucial contemporary realities - realities we call "superdiversity" - and gradually move to a more precise framework for understanding the sociolinguistics of globalization as a perfectly "normal", self-evident form of communication, for which most of us are entirely equipped or ought to become skilled in.
Blommaert, J. (2010) The Sociolinguistics of Globalisation. Cambridge:CUP
O. García, N. Flores & M. Spotti (eds.) 2016. The Oxford Handbook of Language and Society. Oxford: OUP.