Chapter

Migration and Global Mobility

Lionel Wee

in Language without Rights

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199737437
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827107 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737437.003.0006

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Migration and Global Mobility

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This chapter focuses on one of the most pressing sociopolitical challenges facing the world today: that of ensuring the well-being and dignity of individuals as they move across the globe in search of a better life. This chapter argues that migration and global mobility pose serious conceptual and practical problems for language rights. Following Jacobson (1997), This chapter shows how many states are acting as ‘midwives’ to international law as they try to accommodate the presence of foreign workers and other aliens within their territories. The chapter argues that both states and the residents within them are best placed to accommodate the challenges posed by immigration and global mobility when the emphasis is on respecting the rights of individuals, interpreted in accordance with international law. As a consequence, the notion of language rights can either be dispensed with or, if retained, interpreted as being borne by individuals (rather than groups).

Keywords: citizenship; immigrants; mobility; resemiotization; small talk; transnational migration

Chapter.  10355 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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