Constitution of Sustainable Social Space in Estonia: The Role of Foreign Languages

By Anu Masso and Tõnu Tender.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper revises the cultural sustainability concept using as a basis the theory of social space by Henri Lefebvre. The paper is based on the assumption that analysing motivations for foreign language learning could help to understand the changes of social space. Using qualitative in-depth interviews as the empirical basis, the analysis found four different individual linguistic-spatial strategies: spatial production based on unchanging morphologies; spatial production based on historical and power connotations; spatial production based on connotations of consumerism and spatial production based on cultural meanings. According to data, the last strategy supports the constitution of sustainable social space most positively.

Keywords: Cultural Sustainability, Foreign Languages, Language Learning Motivations, Personal Social Space, Transition Countries, Lefebvre

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.141-156. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.217MB).

Anu Masso

PhD Student, Institute of Journalism and Communication, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

I’m a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism and Communication of the University of Tartu, Estonia. My primary fields of research include personal social space, collective identities in post-soviet transition societies, and the role of foreign languages and media in the processes of constitution of identity and social space. The interest in research methods in social sciences unifies these different research areas. My lecturing includes quantitative data analysis (with MS Excel, SPSS), qualitative interview, and qualitative data analysis techniques and software.

Tõnu Tender

University of Tartu, Estonia

I am a last year PhD student in University of Tartu, Estonia. In my PhD-thesis I am observing the reception of multilingualism and the linguistic capital of the Estonian Society. At the same time I am working as an adviser of the Language Policy Department in the Ministry of Education and Research, Estonia, where I am responsible for multilingualism issues (foreign languages in Estonia, Language Policy of the EU and the Council of Europe etc.).


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