Multilingual Identities in a Global City: London Stories by D. Block

By D. Block

This ebook starts with a dialogue of the major problems with globalization, migration, multiculturalism, multilingualism and worldwide towns. It then turns to 4 distinctive case reports and during them explores the ambivalent and multi-layered identitites of people who've crossed geographical and mental borders throughout the process their lifetimes and settled in London.

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Extra info for Multilingual Identities in a Global City: London Stories (Language and Globalization)

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Another issue concerns how one decides that one city is a global city and another is not. In her detailed analysis of global financial flows and global cities, Saskia Sassen (2001) argues that while there have been large trade-oriented cities with international projections and connections for centuries in many parts of the world, it is only in the period since 1973, with the advent of postindustrial economies, that a select few cities have attained the status of global city. As Sassen puts it, ‘the more globalized the economy becomes, the higher the agglomeration of central functions in a relatively few sites, that is in global cities’ (Sassen, 2001: 5).

What is needed and has emerged in recent years is a less essentialized postructuralist approach to gender. Such a poststructuralist approach to language and gender has been derived from the work of feminist theorists such as Judith Butler (1990, 1993) and Chris Weedon (1997) and is captured well by the many contributors to Holmes and Meyerhoff’s (2003) Handbook of Language and Gender. Notwithstanding their differences, most language and gender specialists share several key views. First, there is a consensus that gender is about doing as opposed to having or being.

1 An early discussion of ‘world cities’, provided by Friedmann and Wolff, looks as follows: [World cities are] the principal urban regions . . in which most of the world’s active capital comes to be concentrated, regions which play a vital part in the great capitalist undertaking to organize the world for the efficient extraction of surplus . . the world economy is defined by a linked set of markets and production units, organized and controlled by transnational capital; world cities are the material manifestations of this control, occurring exclusively in core and semi-peripheral regions where they serve as banking and financial centers, administrative headquarters, centers of ideological control and so forth.

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