Language, Immigration and Naturalization Legal and Linguistic Issues Edited by: Ariel Loring, Vaidehi Ramanathan

Hardback - 232 pages
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20 Apr 2016
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This volume focuses on the everyday legalities and practicalities of naturalization including governmental processes, the language of citizenship tests and classes, the labelling and lived experiences of immigrants/outsiders and the media’s interpretation of this process. The book brings together scholars from a wide range of specialities who accentuate language and raise issues that often remain unarticulated or masked in the media. The contributors highlight how governmental policies and practices affect native-born citizens and residents differently on the basis of legal status. Furthermore, the authors observe that many issues that are typically seen as affecting immigrants (such as language policies, nationalist identities and feelings of belonging) also impact first-generation native-born citizens who are seen as, or see themselves as, outsiders.


Discussing in great detail the clever and delicate interplay of the desired, the feared, the imaginary and the legally enforced, this book exposes the use and abuse of linguistic and discursive border control in immigration and citizenship. It builds on decades of scholarship on similar techniques elsewhere, fuses them with fundamental reflections on modernist notions of citizenship, and offers us the most advanced statements on record.

- Jan Blommaert, Tilburg University, Netherlands

As citizenship becomes geopolitically charged, contemporary definitions must resolve tensions between participation and inclusion, and community and legality, in the context of transnationalism and mobility. As these tensions are often negotiated through language in everyday life, this book brings a much-needed linguistic focus on institutions, communities, and classrooms in diverse geographical locations.

- Suresh Canagarajah, Pennsylvania State University, USA

This book presents a much-needed challenge to the established binary of the immigrant and the settled population, and to banal discourses of integration and social cohesion, as well as adding weight to arguments for dissociating citizenship from legal status: language policies, national identities and feelings of belonging affect all citizens and would-be citizens, settled populations as well as new arrivals.

- Journal of Language and Politics 17:4 - James Simpson, University of Leeds, UK

Language, Immigration and Naturalization is topical, thoughtprovoking, and immaculately edited; it stands as a collection of important ideas and methods
investigating language and citizenship and will be an excellent addition to a range of classes for years to come, in addition to being essential in its own right as a collection of scholarship on this important subject.

- Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 17:1 - Emily Moline, University of California, Davis, USA

All contributions in this volume work very well together to provide the reader with substantial information regarding the investigated topics, as well as a rigorous elaboration of the key concepts that this volume deals with (...) This volume represents a significant contribution to rigorous scientific research focusing on both the legal and social implications of the interplay between language, immigration, citizenship, and naturalization.

- Lengua y migracio´n 8:2 (2016), 137-141 - Sanja Škific, University of Zadar, Croatia

The studies in this book offer valuable insights into issues of belonging
and (dis-)citizenship.

- Language in Society 47 (2018) - Neda Salahshour, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Author Biography:

Ariel Loring received her PhD in linguistics from University of California, Davis, USA and is now affiliated with UC Davis and California State University, Sacramento, USA. Her interest areas include language policy, language ideologies, discourse analysis, citizenship, immigration and naturalization.

Vaidehi Ramanathan is Professor of Applied Sociolinguistics at University of California, Davis, USA. Her previous publications include Language Policies and (Dis)Citizenship: Rights, Access, Pedagogies (Multilingual Matters, 2013) and Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities (Multilingual Matters, 2009).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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