‘And all of a sudden, it became my rescue’: language and agency in transnational families in Norway

Journal article by Maria Obojska and Judith Purkarthofer in International Journal of Multilingualism, Volume 15, 2018, Issue 3. This is a special issue on "Multilingual families: aspirations and challenges" edited by Elizabeth Lanza and Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen.


This article examines, how agency is constructed by members of two transnational families living in Norway in biographically oriented interviews. We understand agency as realised on the intertwined levels of grammar and meta-agentive discourse. Reports of speakers’ lived language experience and their experiences with family language policies are analysed to demonstrate how speakers use different approaches to realise agency in their narratives. Drawing on data collected through Language Portraits and semi-structured interviews, we focus on how family members perceive and construct their agency when it comes to language learning, maintenance and management.

Access the article at Taylor & Francis Online.

Published Jan. 17, 2022 12:36 PM - Last modified Aug. 25, 2022 1:00 PM