Mittwoch, 29. April 2015, 16:15 - 17:45 iCal

Political Conflict, Social Cohesion

Exploring the roles of multilingualism, minority languages

Seminarraum IE, Department of African Studies, Campus of the University of Vienna, Courtyard 5
Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna


Joseph Lo Bianco - "Political Conflict, Social Cohesion: Exploring the roles of multilingualism, minority languages"

Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and serves as Immediate Past President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (the first educator elected to this role). In 2012 he was appointed Research Director of the UNICEF Language and Peacebuilding initiative in Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand. Since 2011 he has served as senior research advisor for LUCIDE, a European Commission project on Languages in Urban Communities - Integration and Diversity for Europe, conducting large scale 4 year research on multilingualism at the municipal level in 12 European cities.

ABTRACT: This talk will focus on the methods and initial outcomes of the research and intervention project on language and social cohesion/peace-building currently underway in several highly multilingual areas of SE Asia. Initiatives in tackling the language basis of inequality and social conflict are underway in Myanmar/Burma, Thailand and Malaysia under the auspices of UNICEF. The talk will describe the language planning principles of problem definition, one of the core ideas of the discipline of language planning since its inception, and describe the democratic and participatory method used to engage communities of speakers, officials and language experts to tackle language problems. A key aim is to develop a wider understanding of the nature of language problems and to instill a positive appreciation of the pervasive benefits of multilingual and multicultural education, and the dangers that arise when sociolinguistic complexity is ignored, or repressed.


Department of Development Studies


Sarah Marquardt
Institut für Internationale Entwicklung
+43 01 4277 23901