Cape Verde; Cape Verdean; language racism; linguistic penalty; Luxembourg; migration; multilingualism; multisited; sociolinguistic
[en] This thesis investigates Cape Verdean migration trajectories into Luxembourg from a multisited sociolinguistic point of view. Approaching migration as both emigration and immigration, the thesis examines sociolinguistic aspects of both aspiring and accomplished Cape Verdean migrants to Luxembourg. Based on a narrative and the material ethnography, the thesis seeks to understand migration and its inequalities from the colonial past to the current episode of globalisation.
As a starting point, the thesis historicises Cape Verdean migration to Luxembourg as initially entangled in colonisation and labour policies. It has shown that, Cape Verdean movements to Luxembourg derived indirectly from Portuguese colonisation and unexpectedly meddled in Luxembourg foreign labour policies during the 1960s and 70s. This thesis explores this entanglement and unexpectedness of migration from the perspective of individual migrants.
It explores what happened in between those points of departure and arrival by means of a multisited ethnographic linguistic landscape approach (MELLA). This approach consists of a material and narrative ethnography that studied traces of migrant presences and absences in public and private spaces on both ends of the trajectory. It was found that the linguistic landscape of Cape Verde contained numerous references to Luxembourg (e.g. Avenida Luxemburgo in Santo Antão) and vice versa (e.g. Epicerie Créole in Bonnevoie) and that some participants in the study, like myself, routinely went back and forth, sustaining relationships and engagements in both countries. However, findings also showed how unequal and exclusive South-North mobilities have become.
It is obvious that as life in general is, South-North migration is a struggle, with language being a crucial dimension of this struggle. The thesis shows how migration is a struggle from the start in the country of origin with prospective migrants making considerable efforts and investments to travel North, often in vain, and continues to be a struggle for those who succeed to arrive North. Language duties are always demanded and migrants are constructed from a linguistic deficit perspective rather than addressing the systemic and structural conditions that contribute to unequal struggles among migrant groups and between the locals and migrants, intersecting with gender, class and race. This study provides an account of how multilingualism itself is also a struggle for Cape Verdeans, as Luxembourg’s trilingualism is often used as a gatekeeping device and as a proxy for race in a ‘colour-blind’ racism.
It is my hope that this first book-length study of Cape Verdean migration to Luxembourg has opened a new empirical field of research, and will be followed by many more studies to come.
Research center :
- Education, Culture, Cognition & Society (ECCS) > Institute for Research on Multilingualism (MLing)
Languages & linguistics Anthropology
Author, co-author :
Tavares, Bernardino ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
Cape Verdean Migration Trajectories into Luxembourg: A Multisited Sociolinguistic Investigation
Defense date :
22 March 2018
Number of pages :
Unilu - University of Luxembourg, Esch-Belval, Luxembourg