Diasporic ethnolinguistic subjectivities: Patagonia, North America, and Wales

Peter Garrett 1 , Hywel Bishop 1  and Nikolas Coupland 1
  • 1 Cardiff University

Abstract

A total of 956 informants with links to Wales — from Patagonia, North America, and Wales itself — completed a questionnaire investigating their Welsh identities and affiliation, their images of Wales, their engagement with Welsh cultural practices, and their perceptions of the ethnolinguistic vitality of the Welsh language and of domain priorities for the use of Welsh. These three groups produced systematic variation across many of the issues in this study. Overall, for example, the North Americans oriented their Welshness to Wales itself, and in particular in the history and heritage of Wales, while the Patagonians and the Welsh anchored their Welsh identity within their own contexts, and with less focus on the history and heritage of Wales. The results offer insights into the complexity of “home” and “diaspora” relationships, historical and geo-cultural differences, and their impact on Welsh cultural authenticity and ethnolinguistic subjectivities.

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IJSL is dedicated to the development of the sociology of language as a truly international and interdisciplinary field in which various approaches - theoretical and empirical - supplement and complement each other, contributing thereby to the growth of language-related knowledge, applications, values and sensitivities. The journal features topically-focused issues with individual contributions on small languages and small language communities.

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