This paper examines from a critical sociolinguistic perspective the management of multilingualism in private, public and non-governmental institutions in the Barcelona metropolitan area. Data obtained from a multi-sited ethnography at a private call shop or locutorio, a public health clinic and a religious inspired non-governmental organisation show the different ways institutional ideologies about language and communication account for the way multilingualism gets constructed in each case. The distribution and valorisation of professional and lay knowledge, along with migrant agency and participation in the everyday interactions in the settings provide additional support for the concrete ways multilingualism gets managed. © 2010, EQUINOX PUBLISHING.
- Language and institutions