Abstract

In this talk, we will draw on research of a sociolinguistic and ethnographic nature on language, migration and identity, that we have been conducting, in the UK, since 2014. This research has been carried out with migrant workers from South East Asia – young men and women from the nation of Timor-Leste. Thus far, our ethnographic work with these young Timorese has thrown three points into sharp focus:

Firstly, the importance of taking account of the historical specificity of migration movements, of the particular south/north entanglements involved and of the migration trajectories of different groups; secondly, the value of adopting a dual focus on mobility and on the situated processes and agentive practices involved in mooring in the new place of residence (e.g. in local life world activities such as sport, beyond education and the workplace); and thirdly, the need to pay close attention to the hybrid, multimodal and discursive practices of different groups as a means of building an understanding of the ways in which mooring activities unfold and come to be imbued with social meaning by those groups.