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Sociology: Events


Lost in Translation? Linguistic Capital and Inequality in Aidland

Lost in Translation? Linguistic Capital and Inequality in Aidland
Speaker: Dr Silke Roth # University of Southampton; Hosted by: Sociology # University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
2nd Mar 2016 11:00 - 2nd Mar 2016 13:00
G.8 Lecture Theatre, 1 George Square

Aid relations are significant North-South encounters and offer an excellent opportunity for studying internationalisation in practice. Aid is inextricably intertwined with colonial and post-colonial developments and is one facet of contemporary neoliberal global societies. Thus, an analysis of aid relations contributes to "connected sociologies" (Bhambra 2014) and to the understanding of "globalised localism" and "localized globalism" (Santos 2006). My presentation focuses on language skills and how linguistic capital shapes job opportunities and the relationships between international and national staff as language can be bridging and separating.  I argue that North-South inequalities are perpetuated in Aidland which is reflected in the role of English as lingua franca in many regions. My presentation is based on qualitative interviews with national and international staff and volunteers working in a range of aid organisations, including NGOs and UN agencies, who worked in development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and human rights work around the world.


Here's the video of the talk: