This book explores how 15 immigrants from German-speaking Switzerland in Australia make sense of their migratory experience, of building a new life in a different language. It does so by examining their written and oral life stories. The analysis takes two complementary perspectives: Firstly, the construction of language identities is studied through the language practices and attitudes discussed and displayed by the participants. Secondly, the ways in which they create coherence in their life stories focuses on autobiographical identities where language is a medium of sense-making across their life course. The combined perspectives highlight the diversity among the participants and the complexities of language and identity construction in the context of migration.
The Author: Doris Schupbach is a research fellow at the Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication of the University of Melbourne and a lecturer in the German program at Monash University (Australia). Originally from Switzerland, she moved to Australia in 1998 where she completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. Her main research interests are in sociolinguistics and language contact, including societal and individual plurilingualism and language and identity in an immigrant context.