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Betydelsen av svenska, engelska och andra språk för hantverkare som reser till Sverige för att arbeta: En nexusanalys av språk och arbete på den flerspråkiga byggarbetsplatsen
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2254-3175
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1735-0598
2022 (Swedish)In: Språk och stil, ISSN 1101-1165, E-ISSN 2002-4010, Vol. 32, p. 38-71Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we investigate the linguistic working life of manual workers who commute from Estonia for installation work at a large construction site in Sweden. Language use is analysed from the perspective of nexus analysis (Scollon & Scollon 2004), including the installers’ historical body, interaction order and discourses in place. The findings show that the workers have extensive experience of construction work in several countries and that they carry out their work without knowledge of Swedish. They are part of a professional Estonian team but work mainly alone and get all necessary instructions from their team leader in Estonian. The team leader coordinates their work but also functions as a language broker in the interactional order, using English as a lingua franca. Installation work is considered “language marginal”, and the dominating discourse in place assigns a higher value to the workers’ craftmanship, flexibility and efficiency than their competence in a specific language. The fact that work is carried out in a country where Swedish is the main language does not have any practical significance, neither for access to work nor for carrying out the work. Based on these findings, we conclude that the wide-spread metaphor “Swedish language as key to the labour market” relies upon a simplified understanding of language and labour market. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Adolf Noreen-sällskapet for Svensk Språk- och Stilforskning , 2022. Vol. 32, p. 38-71
Keywords [en]
blue-collar work, labour migration, language broker, multilingualism, nexus analysis
National Category
Specific Languages General Language Studies and Linguistics
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-51428DOI: 10.33063/diva-492983Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85153588599OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-51428DiVA, id: diva2:1755582
Part of project
Labour from the Baltic Sea region: Language, migration and daily working life among Polish and Estonian citizens in Sweden., The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 66/2017Available from: 2023-05-08 Created: 2023-05-08 Last updated: 2023-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Söderlundh, HeddaKahlin, Linda

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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