Lifestyle residents in Barcelona: A biographical perspective on linguistic repertoires, identity narrative and transnational mobility

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Abstract

© 2018 De Gruyter Mouton. All rights reserved. The popularization of lifestyle migration epitomizes the individualization of contemporary lives, and the centrality of travel and spatial relocation in people's aspirational or real life projects. This article examines the processes of sociolinguistic relocation of "lifestylers" in the polylingual city of Barcelona through the lens of their embracing or rejection of Catalan, the non-state, local co-official language. It aims to decipher to what extent these individuals see Catalan as relevant to their transnational life experiences, and how this relevance is embedded in their relational-emotional experiences and evolving sense of self. This article, which examines two life stories gathered through ethnographic interviewing, is framed within biographical-experiential approaches to the multilingual repertoire. The analysis shows that by assembling different narrative bits and by examining in detail the small stories informants tell to ground their accounts, a complex picture of language (dis)appropriation emerges. It argues that national identity rhetoric is a discursive strategy deployed by narrators to partly make sense and partly rationalize what is a complex bundle of identity (re)constitution reasons, emotional stances and interpersonal power dynamics. The article concludes by arguing that presences or absences in people's repertoire are embodied struggles for personal coherence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-34
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Volume2018
Issue number250
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Catalan
  • Identity in/and narrative
  • Language and transnationalism
  • Lifestyle mobility
  • Sociolinguistic relocation

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