Constructing classed linguistic practices across borders: Family language policy in South(east) Asian families in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Taking ethnic minority mothers and children as a transnational social class, this study explores how migrant mothers strategized to construct new class identities and mobilize between different classed communities through their linguistic and cultural repertoire, and how the children aligned their linguistic practices with language policy, both at home and at the societal level. It is found that, while the mothers actively drew on resources (e.g., social‐networking, knowledge of governmental policy and languages) from their emigrational experiences to achieve class mobilization, a bounded view towards cultures may have influenced the family language policy, in turn constraining children’s acculturation and socialization into mainstream society and leading to class stabilization. The mothers were found to draw heavily upon their own migrant and social experiences to set up a restrictive family language policy that functionalized the contexts of household, school, community, and society. It is therefore argued that ideological spaces (Hornberger, 2006) should be opened up to value migrant mothers’ linguistic and cultural resources and to help them develop a more fluid family language policy that better prepare their children for educational success and acculturation. Future research could explore the underlying factors that restrict the development of a more fluid and dynamic language policy and how children’s experiences in schools could be utilized as resources for family language policy implementation. This points to more school‐parent collaboration and information exchange, and the necessity of providing more space for children to enact their own agency and contribute their own ideologies. Copyright © 2019 Language Policy Forum.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Citation

Gu, M. (2019, May). Constructing classed linguistic practices across borders: Family language policy in South(east) Asian families in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Language Policy Forum 2019: Language Policy: Lenses, Layers, Entry points, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

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