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Carla Jonsson

About me

On leave of absence.

Associate Professor. 

Research Interests:

Bilingualism, multilingualism, linguistic ethnography,  bilingual education, language education, education of linguistic minority students, language ideologies, language & power, literacy, multilingual literacies, identities, intercultural communication, sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, translanguaging, code-switching.

Research Projects:
Professional Communication and Digital Media: Complexity, Mobility and Multilingualism in the Global Workplace.
Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation. (2016–2019)

Investigating Discourses of Inheritance and Identity in Four Multilingual European Settings. European Science Foundation via HERA - Humanities in the European Research Area. (2010-2012)

Intercultural Pedagogy and Intercultural Learning in Language Education. The Swedish Research Council. (2007-//-2011)

You can read more about my research at





A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Mångfald, möten och mejl

    2018. Mona Blåsjö, Carla Jonsson.


    I den här antologin beskrivs människor, redskap och situationer som många känner igen från dagens komplexa och rörliga arbetsliv:

    • En mellanchef vars arbetsdagar i hög grad styrs av de många möten som andra lagt in i hennes kalender.
    • En whiteboardtavla som kopplar samman olika delar av en verksamhet, och även kopplar möten till andra aktiviteter.
    • Flera samverkande organisationer som gör det svårt att skilja internkommunikation från annan kommunikation, och som både ökar behovet av kommunikation och försvårar den.

    Dessa skildras i tre uppsatser av Angie Gravett, Emma Legaard och Sofia Johansson. I en forskningsöversikt sammanfattar forskarna Mona Blåsjö och Carla Jonsson sociolingvistisk forskning om arbetslivskommunikation, med fokus på skrivbordsyrken. Översikten visar ur ett individperspektiv hur enskilda anställda förhåller sig till språk i sin vardag på arbetsplatsen, och ur ett organisatoriskt perspektiv diskuteras hur flera språk kan användas på en och samma arbetsplats. De studier som presenteras bygger på olika metoder (kvalitativa, kvantitativa, etnografiska osv.) och ger därigenom en bild av hur man kan gå tillväga för att analysera arbetslivskommunikation. Översikten fokuserar på tre teman: mångfald, dvs. olika aspekter av flerspråkighet på arbetsplatser, möten och annan muntlig kommunikation samt mejl eller snarare mejlande: textprocesser och digitala redskap i arbetslivet.

    Antologin är lämplig för studenter på grundnivå och forskarnivå, men kan även läsas av alla som är intresserade av hur moderna organisationer arbetar med sin kommunikation.

    Read more about Mångfald, möten och mejl
  • Fasta regler för fri kommunikation

    2017. Mona Blåsjö (et al.).


    I dag jobbar många hemma eller på resande fot, och allt färre har ett fast skrivbord. Hur påverkar det förutsättningarna för kommunikationen? Hur ser kommunikationen ut jämfört med arbetsplatser där man fortfarande har eget skrivbord? I den här artikeln tar några språkvetenskapliga forskare från Stockholms universitet upp aktuella fynd från olika forskningsprojekt om kommunikation i arbetslivet.

    Read more about Fasta regler för fri kommunikation
  • 'I have struggled really hard to learn Sami'

    2017. Carla Jonsson, Mona Rosenfors. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 248, 49-71


    This article sheds light on the issue of new speakerness via a case study focusing on one adolescent – “Elle” – and her efforts to claim and regain Sami, a national minority language in Sweden. Elle did not acquire Sami at home, but attended Sami school from first grade to sixth grade, where she learned to understand, read, and write the language. Ever since childhood, Elle has “struggled” to learn more Sami and to be acknowledged as a Sami speaker. It was only recently that Elle started using Sami actively in speech, reclaiming her Sami voice and breaking a silence to which she had been involuntarily submitted. A condition that for Elle could have resulted in language loss was, thus, by her efforts to regain the language, turned into a condition of language revitalization. This article shows how Elle’s narratives are linked to language ideologies and language policies in Swedish society, to negative attitudes towards Sami culture, and to discrimination. By learning and actively using Sami in writing and in speech, Elle exercises agency, and by taking the important step to start speaking, Elle proclaims her right to speak Sami and to her representation. The agency that Elle exercises by using Sami is beneficial for her own language development, but could also potentially contribute to the language revitalization of Sami and to the linguistic empowerment of other speakers/learners of Sami.

    Read more about 'I have struggled really hard to learn Sami'
  • Multilingual repertoires and the relocalization of manga in digital media

    2014. Carla Jonsson, Anu Muhonen. Discourse, Context & Media 4-5, 87-100


    The aim of this study is to analyze multilingual repertoires of young adolescents and the relocalization of manga on Facebook. The focal points of our analysis are: how young adolescents relocalize manga in digital media, the multilingual repertoires these adolescents use in the relocalization of manga, and the manner in which the relocalization of manga and the multilingual repertoires in digital media contribute to indexing the identity of these adolescents.

    The results show that digital media opens up for and encourages dialogue through which the identity performances of young adolescents are invigorated. Through their repertoires, the adolescents perform local, global and glocal identities that reflect superdiverse conditions. The participants׳ choice of, e.g., Japanese screen names highlights their indexing of identities in which local and global aspects are blended and where Japanese aspects are highlighted, whereas other heritage cultures are backgrounded. From the adolescents׳ engagement in a global and transnational manga culture, we learn that, in superdiverse conditions, global transcultural flows can affect the lives of adolescents to the extent that these become a central part of their identity performance.

    In the article, we propose a sociolinguistic online ethnography approach in which we combine (socio)linguistic ethnography with online ethnography. The study shows how the ethnographic data supports, deepens and nuances the analysis. Sociolinguistic online ethnography thus offers a lens through which we as researchers can access not only multilingual repertoires per se but also the participants׳ voices and interpretations.

    Read more about Multilingual repertoires and the relocalization of manga in digital media
  • Power and resistance

    2014. Carla Jonsson. International Journal of Bilingualism 18 (2), 118-133


    This article offers insights into how multilingual resources such as language mixing can be used in theater to address power relations such as, for instance, domination, resistance and empowerment. Three plays by Chicana playwright Cherrie Moraga (Giving up the ghost, Heroes and saints, and Shadow of a man) will be used to illustrate language mixing in Chicano theater. Moraga's work has been selected since she is regarded as a representative of Chicano theater both by people within and by people outside the Chicano community. Chicano theater arose in the United States during the 1960s as an act of resistance. The aim was to empower Chicanos/Mexican Americans by informing them about their rights in the society in which they resided. Chicano theater has thus since its inception been linked to issues of power. Theoretically, this article builds upon philosopher Michel Foucault's view of power, which fits well with the study of Chicano theater since it acknowledges that power exists in all social relations and is negotiated in each relation and context. Foucault's view of power also asserts that power and resistance go hand in hand. This, then, can be translated to the Chicano context, where struggles take place on different levels in order to resist power. Chicano theater, also referred to by Moraga as theater of resistance is one such form of resistance. However, power is not merely resisted. It is also reproduced in a new form. Foucault's view of power and resistance and his emphasis on the productive functions of power allow for a possibility of empowerment.

    Read more about Power and resistance
  • Translanguaging and multilingual literacies

    2013. Carla Jonsson. International Journal of the Sociology of Language (224), 85-117


    A diary is often a personal and private matter, a well-kept secret. This article discusses findings from ethnographic research in which language diaries and diary-based interviews were used as a means to collect qualitative data. The article is based on case studies of six high school students who at the time of the study were enrolled at an international boarding school in Sweden. During the interviews, the students spoke about personal matters associated with languages, identities and discriminatory practices in school and in society.

    The aim of the paper is twofold: (1) to investigate and describe the students' language practices, their translanguaging practices and their multilingual literacies, and (2) to analyze diary-based case studies – based on language diaries and diary-based interviews – from a methodological viewpoint as a means to collect data. The study wishes to contribute to the growing body of ethnographic research on literacy that highlights and nuances the intricate ways in which languages are being used by bilingual and/or multilingual adolescents in their everyday lives in a globalized world.

    The diaries together with the diary-based interviews reveal significant findings about multilingualism both on a micro and macro level. On a micro level these findings relate to, for instance, the use of translanguaging that forms part of the students' multilingual repertoires and the construction of identities in a transnational space such as the school. On a macro level, the findings relate to, for instance, language ideologies, language policies and teaching and learning in a transnational space.

    The results of the study have implications for language policies and teaching practices in schools with bilingual/multilingual students. The study shows how the students' language practices differ from that of the school. Furthermore the study contributes to the methodological advancement of ethnographic research methods and shows how the use of language diaries can enable the production of self-reflection based on students' language practices.

    Read more about Translanguaging and multilingual literacies
  • Functions of code-switching in bilingual theater

    2010. Carla Jonsson. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (5), 1296-1310


    The present study examines functions of code-switching in Chicano theater, i.e. in writing intended for performance. The investigation focuses on local functions of code-switching. These are functions that can be seen in the text and, as a consequence, can be regarded as meaningful for the audience of the plays. In the study these functions are examined, focusing on five loci in which code-switching is frequent, namely quotations, interjections, reiterations, 'gaps' and word/language play. The data of the study consists of three published plays by a Chicana playwright. The study concludes that code-switching fills creative, artistic and stylistic functions in the plays and that it can be used to add emphasis to a certain word or passage, to add another level of meaning, to deepen/intensify a meaning, to clarify, to evoke richer images and to instruct the audience about a particular concept. Code-switching is also used to mark closeness, familiarity, to emphasize bonds, and to include or, on the contrary, to mark distance, break bonds and exclude. Complex identities of the characters as well as the plots of the plays are constructed and developed by means of language. Code-switching is thus used to enhance and support the representation of the characters.

    Read more about Functions of code-switching in bilingual theater

Show all publications by Carla Jonsson at Stockholm University