20 Jan Language on the Edge of the Global: Communicative Competence, Agency, and the Complexity of the Local
Niko Besnier (Sociology & Anthropology, University of Amsterdam)
Friday, January 20 / 1:30 PM
Globalization has now become a central focus in sociolinguistics, although works on the question have tended to treat speech communities as homogeneous entities in which shifts in language use affect everyone in similar fashion, and to represent small-scale societies on the edge of the global as vulnerable recipients of the workings of globalization. This talk argues for a more nuanced approach to the workings of globalization on language and the place of communicative competence through the analysis of ethnographic and linguistic materials from the Kingdom of Tonga. Rethinking communicative competence in in these dynamics in the global age demands an engagement with the way in which old and new forms of power and inequality shape it at the convergence of global and local dynamics.
Niko Besnier is Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.
Sponsored by the Department of Global & International Studies,the Mellichamp Chairs of Global Studies,the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies,the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and the IHC’s Language, Interaction, and Social Organization Research Focus Group.