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Media Representations of Language and Identity in a Catalan Television Comedy : : An approach to language ideology and linguistic identity


Media representations provide a window to analyze possible ideological changes in linguistic ideologies. I examine the multivocality (Bakhtin 1981) of 'Dues Dones Divines' - a failed situation comedy broadcast in Catalonia in 2011- in its parodic representation of Catalan and Castilian typified speakers. I analyze firstly the multilingual practices and the stances on identity of four characters - two of them from a transnational immigrant origin-, and their evaluation of such practices and stances among themselves. This shows the ideological world in which fictional characters evaluate the legitimacy and authority of their identities, their space, and their discourse through their linguistic practices. Secondly, I examine the TV program's evaluative stance toward its characters' perspectives on those topics. This approach shows the program's frame of reference on how native and non-native speakers (in real life) experience linguistic, social or ethnic tensions in Catalonia, and from which the program builds its humorous commentary. Finally, I address the audience evaluation of the whole program in order to provide an explanation to how the program -as a comic representation of Catalonia's multilingualism- eventually failed. The program presents new emerging and contrasting positions regarding language and identity, but the analysis of its characters shows that these positions sometimes clash, hence revealing a continuing anxiety and tension over social and linguistic issues. The failure of the program manifests that some of these new positions are currently unresolved in Catalonia

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