IPA 2019 Panel: Pragmatics at the Margin (Hong Kong)

Collaborative OpportunitiesOpen invitation to participate in a panel, from Concha M. Höfler, Durham University, UK:

“We’re organising a panel at next year’s 16th International Pragmatics
Conference Pragmatics at the Margins in Hong Kong, 9-14th of June 2019, and hereby invite you to contribute. Deadline: 15 October 2018.

*Dealing with Marginality: Categories and Positioning in Interaction*

The question of marginality is more often than not conceptualized as one of (hegemonic) social and spatial exclusion (Leimgruber 2004; Weisberger 1992, Sassen 2016): individuals and/or perceived groups are marginalized by a societal majority and in the process they are portrayed as both voiceless and without agency.

The main aim of this panel is to complicate this notion by focusing on the interactional negotiation of “marginalization”. Taking a closer look at putatively marginalized “groups” often reveals a heterogeneity in negotiating local social categories of marginalization and positionings that is all too easily masked by terms like marginality or exclusion. This interaction-based perspective will enable a deeper understanding of how the so called “marginalized” organize and work with categories of exclusion and disadvantage. It will also ensure that individuals’ voice and agency are taken seriously rather than portraying “the marginalized” as objects of suffering and receivers of “help” (Bauman 2002).

The panel seeks to discuss research focusing on the negotiated, processual, contingent quality of interactions, rather than an alleged stability of groups and identities. Broadly speaking, we invite contributions that examine the tensions and dynamics between categories and positions that are established as dichotomous, such as marginalized/integrated, in/out (social), center/periphery (spatial), before or after historical turning points (temporal). Of special interest is research probing the heterogeneity and potential tensions arising from different positionings in “marginalized” communities.

Methodologically, we are especially interested in contributions from (ethnographically informed) conversation analysis (Deppermann 2000) and finely grained linguistic discourse analysis (Spitzmüller, Warnke 2011) that explore the categorizations established by members of the so-called marginalized groups, their organization and emergence within social interaction and the effects produced by either clearly drawn boundaries or fuzzy in-between-ness (c.f. Jungbluth, Rosenberg, Zinkhahn Rhobodes 2015).

The panel conveners themselves are most experienced in researching the pragmatics of ethno-cultural marginalization, but do not want to restrict discussion to this sphere. We therefore invite contributions that help us to complicate the seemingly straightforward picture of hegemony and marginalization and foster an interaction-centered view on dealing with these.

*Please upload your proposal by 15 October 2018 following the IPrA guidelines:* https://pragmatics.international/page/CfP

Concha M. Höfler, Durham University, UK (concha.m.hofler(at)durham.ac.uk); Maria Klessmann, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt O.,Germany
(klessmann(at)europa-uni.de); Rita T. Vallentin, European University Viadrina Frankfurt O.,Germany (vallentin(at)europa-uni.de)


Bauman, Z. (2002): In the Lowly Nowherevilles of Liquid Modernity. Comments on and around Agier, in: Ethnography, 3 (2),  343-349.

Deppermann, A. (2000): “Ethnographische Gesprächsanalyse: Zu Nutzen und Notwendigkeit von Ethnographie für die Konversationsanalyse”. Gesprächsforschung – Online-Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion, 1, 96-124.

Leimgruber, W. (2004): Between global and local. Marginality and marginal regions in the context of globalization and deregulation. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Rosenberg, P.; Jungbluth, K.; Zinkhahn Rhobodes, D. (eds.) (2015): Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Borders. Berlin/Bern/New York: Peter Lang.

Sassen, S. (2016): At the Systemic Edge. Expulsions, in: European Review, 24 (1), 89-104.

Spitzmüller, J.; Warnke, I. H. (2011): Diskurslinguistik. Eine Einführung in Theorien und Methoden der transtextuellen Sprachanalyse. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter.

Weisberger, A. (1992): “Marginality and its directions”. Sociological Forum, 7(3), 425–446.

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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