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Development of PhD thesis

Abstract

Building Superdiversity, Reclaiming Place: The semiotics of protest and violence in post-apartheid Manenberg.

D. G. A. Jegels

Research Proposal submitted to the Department of Linguistics, University of the Western Cape.

Manenberg presents a microcosm of those who remain marginalised in a deeply racialised society. This space is fraught with historic, linguistic, and socio-economic “entanglements”. Here social actors must remain vigilant, constantly switching between languages and varieties of languages, and building relationships in an attempt to maintain and expand social networks while performing their hybrid identities. The proposed study aims to ascertain what semiotic and other strategies the superdiverse residents of Manenberg employ in their day to day encounters with each other, and in their attempts to engage government, whether at the local, provincial, or national level. When viewed praxeologically, the study questions how the spaces of Manenberg are represented, interacted, and inscribed. Finally, the study aims to ascertain what lessons can may be learnt that may aid social actors in townships like Manenberg in accessing resources and exercising their (linguistic) citizenship.

Keywords: superdiversity, multilingualism, place, linguistic landscape, race, space, scales, resemiotisation
Date: October 2012

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