WP28 Doing ridiculous: Linguistic sabotage in an institutional context of monolingualism and standardisation



This paper considers the way a group of Moroccan adolescents in Belgium engages with the hegemonic structures that envelop them at school by constructing playful linguistic sabotage. Much in contrast with general stereotypes about these boys? supposed incompetence in Dutch, Moroccan boys could be observed styling several Dutch varieties and employing them to wrong-foot adults and authorities in situations of increased accountability. Crucial in this practice was the concept of doing ridiculous, which involved play-acting, creating ambiguity and feigning enthusiasm for schoolish, research-related or other ?boring? activities. Doing ridiculous with linguistic varieties helped Moroccan boys to shape and negotiate their participation at school, to challenge stereotyping identity categories and to make elbow-room in
limiting situations.