Dr Alfonso Del Percio

Room 139, School of Education (Building R19)
Tuesday 6 February 2018 (16:00-18:00)

Dr Elizabeth Chilton e.h.chilton@bham.ac.uk

MOSAIC Research Seminar Series Centre for Research on Multilingualism, 2017-18

Language, Employability and the Governmentality of the Self

With speaker Dr Alfonso Del Percio, Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the Institute of Education, University College London

Ethnic minority men and women, especially so-called unskilled or low-skilled minority workers, have been affected strongly by the rise in unemployment caused by the current crisis of capitalism. Members of ethnic minorities are therefore a prime target of the politics of activation, a practice which has become central to labour market policies in many western states, including the UK. ‘Activation’ can be understood as a cover term for techniques of the government of self, deployed by local employment agencies and other actors, in the interest of getting unemployed persons off benefits and into the labour market.

This paper aimed to investigate how the activation of minority workers through language and communication trainings takes place on the ground. It focused on the activation practices organised for unemployed minority workers in Newham, one of the UK’s most socially and economically deprived areas.


Dr. Alfonso Del Percio is Lecturer in Applied Linguistics. He was trained in the fields of applied linguistics, critical sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology at the University of St. Gallen, Fribourg and Chicago. His ethnographic and discourse analytic research deals with the intersection of language and political economy and focuses on language, migration and governmentality, the links between language, work, and social inequality. He also investigates the commodification of multilingualism and linguistic diversity. Alfonso's recent publications include “A Semiotics of Nation Branding” (Special Issue of Signs and Society, 2016), “Discourses of Diversity” (Co-edited special issue of Language and Communication, 2016) and “Language and Political Economy” (with Mi-Cha Flubacher and Alexandre Duchêne, Oxford University Press, 2017). He also recently published a co-edited volume entitled “Language, Education and Neoliberalism” (with Mi-Cha Flubacher, Multilingual Matters, 2017) arnd a co-edited special issue in Language Policy on “Language and Commodification” (2017). He is currently preparing a book entitled “Branding a Multilingual Nation” (Routledge, forthcoming) and an edited volume on “Language, Governmentality and Neoliberalism” (with Luisa Martin Rojo, Routledge, forthcoming).

For more information about Dr Alfonso Del Percio please visit: https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ADELP78 

If you wish to attend this free event, please register online. All are welcome!

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