A critical ethnographic sociolinguistics of Galicianness in a UK city: speakerhood and ethnolinguistic mobilisation in the diaspora

Dayán-Fernández, Alejandro (2022) A critical ethnographic sociolinguistics of Galicianness in a UK city: speakerhood and ethnolinguistic mobilisation in the diaspora. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis explores new geographies of minoritised languages in the diaspora, focusing on the Galician case (North-West Spain). While diaspora studies have largely examined displacement histories of nation-state ethnolinguistic subjectivities, their minoritised counterparts have often been overlooked. Within the UK, studies on heritage or community languages have paid no attention to European minoritised languages, cultures, and identities cohabiting with their hegemonic nation-state counterparts in UK’s diasporic spaces. The economic crisis of 2008 has shifted Galician diaspora dynamics in the UK. Newer cohorts of Galician migrants with different socioeconomic and linguistic profiles have shaken the landscape of preceding Galician community-building processes. In seeking to comprehend how new dynamics of group-making have unfolded over time and how differing understandings of Galicianness are negotiated, this thesis explores: (1) how Galician activist diasporans set up new forms of group-making and the tensions arising from different ideologies of language and nationhood among competing groups; (2) the symbolic resources utilised to define spaces of diasporic groupness; and (3) the emergence of new speakers of Galician as mobilising agents in the diaspora. Drawing on data collected via qualitative fieldwork conducted among Galician activists in the UK during 2017-2019, the thesis addresses both the conflictive and uniting nature of language as a key element of social life and argues that language is a pivotal component of diasporisation processes in relation to group-making and community-building. Turning first to the creation of diaspora spaces, the thesis postulates that conflicts emerge when diasporic groups claim legitimacy over what Galicianness entails. The thesis then discusses the different types of advocacy put forward by pro-Spanish and pro-Galician groups and how diasporic dynamics and community expectations are influenced by them. Finally, it examines the investment of pro-Galician diasporans in creating momentum for the language while constructing new spaces of collective action. The thesis ultimately contends that newer forms of social practice in diasporic group-making must adhere to ideas of political neutrality dominated by existing groups in order to perdure.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to issues of confidentiality this thesis is not available for viewing.
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Hispanic Studies
Supervisor's Name: O'Rourke, Professor Bernadette and Bartlet, Professor Tom
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83137
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2022 09:16
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 09:45
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83137
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83137

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