Wednesday Seminar: Young Mozambican adults' discursive strategies at border crossings

Torun Reite, doctoral research fellow from the Department of Romance Studies and Classics at Stockholm University, will give a talk on spatial and linguistic strategies for discursive border-crossing of young Mozambican adults.

Torun Reite

Torun Reite (Photo: Private)

The lecture is free and open to everyone. Welcome!


Drawing on perspectives from border studies that have emerged within geography and related fields (Kramsch & Zierhofer, 2005; Wilson & Donnan, 2012) and positioned within the sociolinguistics of mobility (Kerfoot & Hyltenstam, 2017; Coupland et al., 2016; Blommaert & Dong, 2010), my study focuses on young Mozambican adults and the discursive strategies they adopt to cross spatial borders. The study adopts different lenses, and engages in an interdisciplinary dialogue between sociolinguistics and border studies and displays both the loci of perceived borders and the discursive strategies adopted to enhance cross-border mobility in a post-colonial setting of hegemonic socio-spatial stratification.

The method and material include interviews, ethnographic observation and metalinguistic discourses from focus group discussions of 24 young Mozambican adults aged 18-26 (17 men and 12 women). The participants consist of networks of friends that socialize on a daily basis.

Results show distinct discursive strategies adopted when facing borders perceived as un-traversable and for border-crossings associated with some degree of mobility. When borders are perceived as un-traversable, results demonstrate how individuals discursively adopt strategies of self-invisibilization (Muni Toke, 2017). In these cases, spatial (b)orders are embodied, enacted and discursively reproduced thus underpinning their resilience. In contrast, for borders perceived as partly permeable, results show examples of re(b)ordering and space production (Lefebvre, 1991) or translanguaging space (Li Wei, 2014)


Ekaterina Kuzmina
Published Apr. 9, 2018 10:32 AM - Last modified Oct. 14, 2019 4:39 PM