WP22 Language and New Ethnicities ? Multilingual Youth and Diaspora

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Language shift and language maintenance have been useful heuristic notions, but they have always had an air of melancholia about them, linked with terms such as language loss and language death.? This paper explores how these sociolinguistic concerns might be moved into a different frame, drawing on cultural theories from British Cultural Studies.? Focusing on patterns of language use among British-born adolescents of South Asian descent, it draws on Raymond Williams? proposal that any analysis of culture must struggle to identify elements which are dominant, residual and emergent, and on E.P. Thompson?s insistence that human beings act consciously, individually and collectively, to advance what they take to be their own interests, and have the capacity to affect the course of their own history.