Multilingual Students' Management of Transnational Identities in Online Participatory Sites
New Media Literacies
Social Networking Sites
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
AdvisorReinhardt, Jonathan S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 08-Jun-2017
AbstractIn an age characterized by globalization and mobility, societal dynamics across the world have experienced dramatic changes in terms of cultural and linguistic diversity. The increase in the flows of populations, discourses, and materials has been further accelerated by the technological advances. The new, digital ways that we use to communicate, interact, and manage our social relationships have led researchers to think about new ways of approaching texts, resources, and social interactions. Referring to globalization, deep transformations in society, and resulting sociolinguistic impacts, Coupland (2003) and Blommaert (2003) call for a rethinking of the ways sociolinguistics attempt to address globalization. This call has precipitated various theoretical and methodological suggestions, which have appeared in monographs, journal issues, and edited volumes (e.g., Blommaert, 2010; Coupland, 2010; de Fina & Perrino, 2013; Pennycook, 2010; Thurlow & Jaworski, 2010). However, the study of digital practices at the intersection of heterogeneity and mobility in the age of digital diversity has been minimally addressed (See Androutsopoulos & Juffermans, 2014).In an attempt to shed light on digital activities of multilingual individuals in online participatory spaces, the current study investigates the social networking site (SNS) practices of international graduate students (IGSs) who are experiencing transnational mobility. Theoretically informed by sociolinguistics and new media studies, the current interdisciplinary study analyzes multilingual students' new media literacy (NML) practices, use of semiotic resources, and digital practices of sharing transcultural content in connection with the construction and management of various aspects of their identities in contexts of superdiversity. For this purpose, the collected data, which is triangulated with an online survey, semi-structured interviews, and SNS data, is both quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. The findings show that despite having what could be considered' truncated NMLs' (i.e. having different levels of literacies), IGSs successfully interact within participatory spaces. The quantitative and qualitative results indicate that multilingual students frequently engage in linguistic and multimodal practices by mobilizing a great diversity of linguistic and multimodal resources in identity performances. Furthermore, IGSs mediate transcultural content by means of semiotic resources to negotiate their membership in various home country and host country communities. It is concluded that multilingual students form, foster and maintain transnational identities in superdiverse digital contexts by mobilizing their often 'truncated repertoires' (Blommaert, 2010), which may include semiotic tools afforded by SNSs, language resources, and NMLs. This dissertation aims to make a value-added theoretical contribution to the current thinking of online superdiversity; a methodological contribution by employing Social Network Analysis as a data collection and analysis technique; and a pedagogical contribution by proposing that 'SNS Literacies', a set of social practices that are essential for navigation and participation of learners in superdiverse networks, be explicitly addressed within educational contexts.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching