In this article the notion of “community” is examined through a lens which focuses on the way people interact and communicate in and around a Panjabi complementary school. Analysis of linguistic ethnographic data contributes to understandings of how identities are produced and reproduced, and how belonging becomes naturalised. The analysis offers a means to develop a nuanced understanding of the complexity, unpredictability and mobility of late modern, urban “communities”. The article considers linguistic repertoires in play in two family settings, and views these repertoires through the lens of heteroglossia (Bakhtin 1981). The discussion focuses on audio recordings, observational fieldnotes and interviews collected as part of a wider linguistic ethnographic study in four European cities. In the interactions between parents and their teenage daughters, identities were produced and reproduced, and certain kinds of belonging, or “community”, came to be naturalised. Analysis of such interactions developed an understanding of the complexity of “communities”, evident in a number of identifiable signs which recurred in the speech of these and other families in the study.
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