WP55 Community, commodification, cosmopolitanism: Salsa and ideologies of language in transnational settings

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Salsa, a global urban music and dance phenomenon, is an interesting example for the emergence of transnational cultural spheres. Salsa has its roots in the Americas but is enormously successful worldwide. While the language spoken on the dance floors is usually that of the respective (national) environments, the Spanish language is seen as being the authentic means of expression for the music so that outside Latin America, Salsa always brings along the Spanish language. However, attitudes to multilingualism can differ not only from country to country or from city to city but rather from Salsa-network to Salsa-network.
This paper describes the Salsa-scene of Sydney Australia, and links this to different stances towards multilingualism. Affiliation with different local scenes and styles of Salsa dance ? L.A. style, Colombian style, Cuban style ? are mediated by stances on multilingualism, and in its account of this, the paper scrutinizes the manner and extent to which language ideologies in a transnational setting challenge established power structures and reified discursive concepts of language.