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Belonging in TranslationSolidarity and Migrant Activism in Japan$
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Reiko Shindo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201871

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201871.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Language as a Contested Site of Belonging

Language as a Contested Site of Belonging

(p.1) 1 Language as a Contested Site of Belonging
Belonging in Translation

Reiko Shindo

Policy Press

This chapter explains how the research on language in the context of migrant activism can advance one's understanding of belonging, of what it means to be a legitimate member of a community. To do so, it broadly sketches the relationship between language and community and discusses how the focus on linguistic interactions between citizens and noncitizens offers a productive yet unexplored site of investigation in migration studies. The relationship between language and community has a dual nature. Language solidifies the boundary of community, and separates citizens inside the community from foreigners outside. And yet, it can also obscure the line between the two, exposing fluidity of belonging, and in doing so, imagining community as a dissolving entity. The chapter then provides the specific context in which migrant activism takes place in Japan, and explains how the Japanese case study is helpful for examining citizenship and belonging in relation to language.

Keywords:   language, migrant activism, belonging, community, linguistic interactions, citizens, foreigners, migration studies, Japan, citizenship

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