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25 Years

"An accent from everywhere": The politics of sociolinguistics, belonging, and girls schooling in Bahrain

Date: 
Fri, 11/06/2020 - 12:00pm
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Event Location: 
Zoom

Presented by: Sara Musaifer, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development

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Passcode: G550Is  

Abstract: In this chapter, I focus on the question of sociolinguistics and its relationship to power differentials, identity formation, and girls' schooling in Bahrain. To do this, I weave archival research, policy document analysis, and ethnographic data to make three main arguments: a) The rise of the monolingual nation-state in Bahrain finds inspiration in Western colonial epistemologies; b) Discourses and practices of linguistic identities are entangled in a web of contestations over ethnoracial, religious, class, and gender identities; and c) Linguistic homogenization efforts are fraught terrains. Their imposition of a particular interpretation of identity, community and belongingness is constantly negotiated by girls and educators in ways that are subtle, creative, and deeply political, inside and outside of schools.