Jannis Androutsopoulos & Kasper Juffermans (eds.) 2014
Digital language practices in superdiversity
Special Issue, Discourse Context & Media 4-5/2014
This Special Issue brings together research at the intersection of two emerging areas of scholarship in sociocultural linguistics: digital communication and superdiversity. The nine papers explore their relationship from two angles: they examine the role of digital language practices in contexts of societal superdiversity, and the relevance of superdiversity as a theoretical perspective for the study of digital language practices.
Their findings show that digital language practices in settings of superdiversity extend and complicate the semiotic resources available to people for their performance of identities and social relationships. Superdiversity does not forcibly lead to communicative breakdown, as some contemporary dystopia of the Babel tower would be likely to predict. It can also lead to new ways of negotiating and managing diverse sets of linguistic resources and relations, eventually developing forms of homogenisation as well as diversification.
The research presented here demonstrates how sociolinguistics and discourse studies can examine and theorise digital language and literacy practice as practices that are now inseparable from everyday life with language in superdiverse societies. Doing so means developing the theoretical vocabulary and methods of language and discourse studies in ways that integrate and merge media and mediation with linguistic repertoires, practices, and contexts.