Youth ecocultural identity at the nexus of Oslo's multilingual, digital and urban landscapes

This project is inspired by global youth environmental movements. It draws on nexus analysis to examine the language practices of Oslo youth to construct ecocultural identity.

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Gavin Lamb (photo: Nadia Frantsen/UiO)

About the project

As climate change presents future sociocultural, political, and environmental uncertainties for urban youth in Norway, it will be increasingly important to understand how youth from diverse backgrounds express agency, community affiliation, place-based identity and pride in relation to Norway's changing urban landscapes. This research examines how youth from diverse backgrounds living in Oslo discursively construct a range of convivial and conflicting 'ecocultural identities' (Milstein and Castro-Sotomayor 2020) to negotiate participation in different offline/online communities in their daily lives. In urban areas like Oslo, it is increasingly important to understand these ecocultural dimensions of multilingual, multicultural youth identity as they relate to the uncertain repercussions of the global environmental crisis. 

Drawing on the sociolinguistic framework of nexus analysis (Scollon and Scollon 2004), this open-ended and ethnographically-grounded approach to data collection helps shed light on how youth language practices constitute place-based identities and communities, and how through their multilingual practices, youth contest and transform urban spaces into meaningful places of belonging and well-being (Nortier and Svendsen 2015). 

In particular, this research aims to shed light on the interactional and digital language practices – including stances, narratives and discourses –that multilingual/multicultural youth in Oslo enlist across the different activity spaces of their daily lives (e.g. at school, home, digital, activism, everyday recreation) to negotiate place-based belonging and local/global community affiliation in a time of growing awareness of and cultural responses to environmental concerns from urban sustainability to climate change. 


Milstein, T., & Castro-Sotomayor, J. (2020). Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity. Routledge.

Nortier, J., & Svendsen, B. A. (2015). Language, Youth and Identity in the 21st Century: Linguistic Practices across Urban Spaces. Cambridge University Press.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. B. K. (2004). Nexus Analysis: Discourse and the Emerging Internet. Routledge.


2021 - 2023


Published Jan. 4, 2022 12:44 PM - Last modified Jan. 4, 2022 1:23 PM