Multilingual cosmopolitanism and monolingual commodification

language ideologies in transnational Salsa communities

Britta Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Salsa, a global urban music and dance phenomenon, is an interesting example for the emergence of transnational cultural spheres. Salsa has its roots in the Americas and in many Salsa communities outside of Latin America, the Spanish language is seen as the authentic means of expression. However, attitudes to multilingualism can differ strongly from Salsa community to Salsa community. In this paper, the Salsa-scene of Sydney is introduced with its various stances towards multilingualism. These are connected to different styles of the dance, where one style is practiced in English only, while dancers of another style are often bilingual speakers of Spanish and English. Monolingualism and multilingualism here mediate the affiliation to different local scenes. Simultaneously, both language ideologies relate to different global discourses of competitive and cosmopolitan culture. It will be asked whether the introduced language ideologies challenge traditional frameworks of society and reified discursive concepts of language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-668
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage in Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • multilingualism
  • transnationalism
  • cosmopolitanism

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