© 2014, Taylor & Francis. In this article, we investigate the discursive transformations that occurred at a migrant-support non-governmental organisation (NGO) located in the outskirts of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) and how they intersect with broader sociopolitical and economic processes. In particular, we focus on the revamping of the key notions of language and labour in the institutional imagination of migrant incorporation processes. Our data was collected over the course of a six-year period (2007–2012) and consisted of in-depth interviews with multilingual NGO users and institutional agents, ethnographic narratives and institutional documents. We trace a discursive shift from ‘integration-through-labour’ during the economic boom to an official ‘integration-through-language’ to gain access to paid employment in the early years of the recession, and recently, with the worsening of the crisis, a paradigm that focuses on language-cum-affective labour to craft relational and moral selves through voluntary work in local NGOs.
- institutional discourse
- language ideology
- migrant incorporation
- neoliberal subjectivities
- non-governmental and voluntary organisations