Human sciences perspectives on linguistic diversity and social inclusion in Australia - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Human sciences perspectives on linguistic diversity and social inclusion in Australia

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  1. “like the fish not in water”: How language and race mediate the social and economic inclusion of women migrants to Australia Human sciences perspectives on linguistic diversity and social inclusion in Australia

  2. Introduction • Language and race as mediators of social inclusion for new migrants • How language and race are conflated in perceptions of labour market success • How linguistic capital is realised in the labour market

  3. Research study • Research • longitudinal ethnography among learners recruited in the AMEP • 22 months of data collection, from 2008-2010 • interview, discussion, email, blog, journal data • Participants • nine recent women migrants from: Brazil (Maria), Bulgaria (Vesna), China (Tina), Iran (Roxanna), Japan (Kumiko and Michiko), Russia (Lena), Serbia (Anna), Singapore (Julie) • eight women with post-secondary education • all women at intermediate English level (ISLPR 1.5-2.0) • Researcher • teacher in the AMEP • experience in AMEP management, professional development, research • experience of transnational migration

  4. Imagining belonging Vesna: But locals is sometime being like you, or like… Lena: Yes, local people just come from another country. (Discussion Three, October 2008)

  5. Language proficiency and belonging Vesna: Like everywhere. People… sometime they not very confident with his own grammar. Anna: Yeah, yeah! That’s true. We have to realize that, you know. Vesna: Just gone to school and that’s all, and they can make mistake even his own language. (Discussion Three, October 2008)

  6. Outsiders “because for you, it’s might be diff… you know, quite similar appearance, you know… but for us, Australian people or other people think we can’t speak English, they try to speak slowly, or something, but I said… when I speak… [they] start to speak: “Oh, you can speak English! You can understand!” (Michiko, Discussion Three, October 2008)

  7. …and insiders “But I think it’s you more imagation of yours, because… I don’t know so many Chinese, so … I don’t know about Japanese, but a lot of Chinese people here, they all speak English and they maybe Australian, so they … they cannot think about every Asian, or … I don’t know, Chinese, or maybe Japanese persons, they cannot think: ‘Oh, he doesn’t speak English… she doesn’t speak English’” (Lena, Discussion Three, October 2008)

  8. Trajectories of belonging Lena: What I am surprised about it, because I think in Australia, a lot of people… maybe everybody… comes from somewhere. Maybe many years ago, but a lot of them are successful, so… Tina: Yes. Lena: …I don’t know why you feel so hopeless about your career. (Discussion Three, October 2008)

  9. … and exclusion “Even if we can work hard…but, maybe because the background and the language, we can’t go to the higher level.” (Tina)

  10. Acknowledging white privilege “Oh it’s nice to be beautiful white woman” (Lena)

  11. Language and racism “Yes…they looks like they are very friendly to you, but… ah, I think in their heart, they don’t respect us. […]we can’t speak very fluent English and they think sometimes…in the back they call us ‘stupid pig’… ‘stupid Chinese pig’.” (Tina)

  12. Experiencing exclusion “To be a foreigner’s very hard…I feel so like the fish not in water.” (Maria) “If something happened… it’s … especially Caucasian people – no offence! … and when […]my husband go into Transperth office to buy a Smartrider [train pass] and asked about something […] and she explained: “You know, when you go home, you can give the card to somebody else and somebody can use it”. [Michael said] “What do you mean, ‘when you go home’?” … my husband is Chinese Australian, so … […] I think it’s pretty rude.” (Kumiko)

  13. Language and invisibility “They speak with each other but not speak with me.[…]I think as we are foreigners, we are invisible for Australian people. They not… not… knows, or the older one, I don’t know… or very scared about us.” “80% of the time I don’t understand, because always say like this slanguage…And I don’t understand it that kind of language” (Maria)

  14. English language proficiency “my friends told me “‘cos my English not enough”, they can’t get a job, so… that’s I thought oh, it could be my English too, it’s not enough to get a job.” (Michiko) “yeah but…ah, my world… yeah, no-one got job with Australian company” (Michiko)

  15. …and settlement success “I’ve always feel…always felt …um… accepted to live here. But, when it’s come to finding a job, it’s not. I’ve been feeling rejected. […]One company […] said: “Sorry, unfortunately, you are not successful candidate, successful one is this guy Brendan something-something”. I thought, it’s obvious someone with English background, so I thought oh maybe because my English is not good.” (Kumiko, Discussion Two, September 2008)

  16. Linguistic capital in the labour market “And I was bit pissed off, because keep rejecting … rejected, so I registered this Japanese recruiting company online and ten minutes later I already got a message from this company. So, maybe I should go back to Japan, because in Japan, I can use both Japanese and English.” “In Japan, demand for bilingual engineer is very high. In Australia I am just a Japanese with a little English but in Japan I am a fantastic bilingual ;)” (Kumiko) • Linguistic capital in a niche market – Tina’s Chinese as an employability asset

  17. Conclusion • In considering trajectories of social inclusion, we cannot see the role of English language proficiency in isolation, since divergent imaginings and experiences of participation and belonging are also mediated by race • Language proficiency can be conflated with race in the experience of labour market exclusion • Linguistic diversity, as capital, is inconsistently realised in a predominantly English-monolingual labour market

  18. References • Booth, A., Leigh, A., and Varganova, E. 2009. Does racial and ethnic discrimination vary across minority groups? Evidence from a field experiment. Social Science Research Network, web archive: • Butorac, D. (2011). Imagined identity, remembered self: Settlement language learning and the negotiation of gendered subjectivity. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Macquarie University. • Colic-Peisker, V. (2011). ‘Ethnos’ and ‘Anglos’ in the labour force: Advancing Australia fair? Journal of Intercultural studies, 32:6, 637-654. • Colic-Peisker, V. and Tilbury, F. 2007. Integration into the Australian labour market: The experience of three “visibly different” groups of recently arrived refugees. In International Migration, Vol. 45(1), pp 59-85. • Creese, A. and Wiebe, B. 2009. Survival employment: Gender and deskilling among African immigrants in Canada. In International Migration, DOI:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2009.00531.x • Piller, I. (2010). Racism without racists. Language on the Move web archive: • Piller, I (in press). Multilingualism and social exclusion. In Martin-Jones, M., A. Blackledge, and A. Creese (eds). Handbook of Multilingualism. London: Routledge.