Ideology, agency, and imagination in multilingual families: An introduction

Kendall King, Elizabeth Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Ideology, identity and agency are central concerns in the current study of multilingualism and transnational families as greater analytical attention is given to how multilingual families imagine and collectively construct themselves. This introduction reviews recent shifts in the study of multilingual families and discusses the four articles that comprise this thematic issue. Together, these four papers present new empirical data concerning a wide array of family language practices and policies, differing in noteworthy ways, and in particular in terms of contexts and languages studied. As demonstrated here, these articles critically analyze the everyday ways in which ideologies, identities, agency, and imagination are created and enacted among multilingual families in divergent contexts. These analyses provide important windows into how meaning is produced within particular places, activities, social relations, interactional histories, and cultural ideologies, and collectively, this body of work advances our understanding of language use and learning within multilingual families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-723
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was partly supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme (project number 223265), and MultiFam (project number 240725). This work was also supported by a University of Minnesota Faculty Research Sabbatical Award.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Multilingualism
  • agency
  • ideology
  • imagination
  • language policy
  • migration
  • transnational families


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