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Warwick PGR/ECR Members

Current Members:

Ayten Alibaba (a dot alibaba at warwick dot ac dot uk)

Terms such as multiculturalism, migration and culture are popular in today’s media and politics. Unsurprisingly, the role of immigrants within the larger society has attracted significant attention. Within academia, some extant literature depicts, for example, the life experience of immigrants as moving in a linear trajectory from heritage culture to an immersion in host culture whilst in the media, the debate tends to evolve around whether or not immigrants ‘integrate’ to the wider society. There is, however, insufficient empirical evidence to identify what constitutes this cultural integration. What does cultural integration really mean? Can any society ever be considered as a homogenous entity? What does immigrant identity constitute and is this in itself a homogenous concept? These questions are important for our understanding of immigrants’ experience and the adaptations on behalf of the host culture. Recent research suggests we should think of culture and identity issues as much more dynamic than linear progression and also much more nuanced and context specific. My research project aims to expand these notions and provide a wider understanding of this process by focusing; firstly on women immigrants, secondly on different generations, and thirdly on the immigrant communities in two transnational cities, London and Berlin.

Keywords: Identity construction, intercultural communication, city

Rachel Chimbwete Phiri (R dot Chimbwete-Phiri at warwick dot ac dot uk)
"The (co-) construction of knowledge of HIV/AIDS in Malawi’s health communication"
My current research aims at understanding how participants of health communication in Malawi construct knowledge of HIV/AIDS. In Malawi there is usually a gap of knowledge between classes due to challenges in literacy levels and language use, therefore this study wants to understand the positioning of the client in health care discourse. My focus is on both health professionals’ way of reproducing knowledge of HIV/AIDS with clients, and clients' reception of this knowledge and reproduction of their own knowledge about HIV/AIDS as they interact with health professionals and other health information sources. I will analyse HIV/AIDS discourse of clients and health professionals at a health centre in Malawi. I would like to consider how clients’ understanding of their position in the medical interaction could empower them to manage their health and adhere to appropriate HIV/AIDS care or treatment. In the long run, the findings will offer insights into encouraging health care clients and individuals in Malawi to be active participants in decision-making about health and management of illnesses in the health care communication contexts. Keywords: health care discourse, HIV/AIDS, health care client, knowledge, and health communication.

Keywords: health care discourse, HIV/AIDS, health care client, knowledge, health communication

Kyoungmi Kim (kyoungmi dot kim at warwick dot ac dot uk

Multinational companies have emerged as one of the dominant organisational forms for international business, yet relatively little attention has been paid to how power is exercised dynamically among the actors of differing status, expertise and interests, interlinked with organisational communication. Having conducted an ethnographic study in a Korean MNC, I intended to obtain staff's ethnographic accounts of everyday experiences and observational data of their interaction. Adopting Smith’s (2009) institutional ethnographic approach, this study explores the social relations that individuals actively constitute and that connect individuals’ routinized activities to the organisation structure. The preliminary analysis is focused on a) power derived from the organisational structure and b) language skills as other forms of power resource in particular situations. Further analysis will require a thorough examination of communication processes and practices through which their social relations are (re)produced and of contextual features that shape variation in the process of influence.

Keywords: multinational companies (MNC), power dynamics, organisational communication, institutional ethnography

Dr Naomi Wells (naomi dot wells at warwick dot ac dot uk))

Naomi Wells is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Italian Studies at the University of Warwick on the AHRC-funded project Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures. Her current research centres on the cultural and linguistic practices of migrant and intercultural associations in the city of Bologna, Italy. Focusing on an Intercultural Centre where these associations are based, she is interested in spaces in which cultural and linguistic diversity is negotiated through daily practices of cultural exchange, transmission and production. Her research adopts an interdisciplinary approach, but draws primarily on sociolinguistics, cultural studies, and cultural and social geography.

Keywords: multilingualism, multicultural, transnational, migration, Italy