Language and Belonging in Digital Storytelling - An Analysis of What It Means to Be a 'Citizen'

By: Marinka Swift  

What does it mean to be a ‘citizen’ for Generation 1.5 deportees? Based on analyses of digital deportation narratives, the present study utilizes a blended analytical approach to explore language ideologies and linguistic narrative practices of adult Generation 1.5 individuals repatriated to Mexico. Data for the present study is drawn from nineteen digital testimonies archived on YouTube. Twelve of the selected testimonies are a part of a larger archive of the Humanizing Deportation project. The remaining seven videos are news segments from various sources. The approach combines thematic narrative analysis (Riessman, 2005) with the conversational code-switching framework (Gumperz, 1977) and shows how, through narrative, adult Generation 1.5 deportees repatriated to Mexico negotiate language ideologies, which inform their ideas of what it means to be a ‘citizen’. Based on the analysis presented, the study urges social scientists and activists to be attentive to the unique linguistic experiences of Generation 1.5 deportees in the Mexico. The study reveals topics related to language ideologies and sociopolitical pressures on language identities.

Citizenship, Identity, Language
Identity and Belonging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Marinka Swift

PhD candidate, Linguistics, University of California, Davis, United States
United States

I am a PhD candidate in the Linguistics Department at the University of California, Davis.