All dressed up and nowhere to go: Linguistic, cultural and ideological aspects of job interviews with second language speakers of Danish

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This dissertation is a sociolinguistic, data-driven study of authentic job interviews with second language speakers of Danish. The job interviews are part of a Danish governmental initiative aimed particularly at immigrants and newcomers to Denmark, who are assumed to experience linguistic and cultural difficulties at the Danish labour market. The particular designs of the job interviews as well as the explicitly stated evaluations of language and culture create an unusual frame. On the one hand we deal with “traditional” job interviews as institutional gatekeeping instruments; on the other hand we face a tailored selection process meant to address the needs of the vulnerable. These contradictory practices produce certain tensions: although the job interviews in focus are meant to accomplish the target group’s special needs, they exemplify a practice in which the good intentions are all dressed up but have nowhere to go.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherKøbenhavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet
Number of pages270
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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