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Finding Flow: Negotiating diverse temporalities in migrant family life

Project description

Rhythmic relations of migrant family life

To investigate temporalities in migrant integration processes, the EU-funded INFLOW project will apply a sociolinguistic ethnography by way of a new inventive methodology - rhythmanalysis. The project will examine how five Russian-speaking multilingual families experience migration and integration. It will treat migration as a social arrhythmia, and integration like language learning, and acculturation as situations of conflicting rhythms and temporalities. The project aims to understand and explore the projection of past and future in migrant reality in relation to the level of conscious decision-making. The project will create a new theoretical base for the study of integration and identification and offer practical strategies to families and communities.


Based at the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing) at the University of Oslo, this project will undertake a critical sociolinguistic ethnography by way of a new innovative approach - rhythmanalysis - to explore the temporal dimensions of migrant adaptation processes. Five Russian-speaking multilingual families will partake in the study, which adopts a participatory research approach. The research starts by framing migration as a time prone to social arrhythmia – a disruption to the familiar, predictable, and secure – and proposes that integration practices such as language learning and acculturation are in fact sites of conflicting rhythms and temporalities. As such, the project incorporates several layers of inquiry to understand rhythmic relations at individual, interactional, and societal levels, and how these interact. Moreover, it aims to comprehend how temporal perception correlates with meaning-making practices. If mobility can lead to new temporal experiences, then narrative and discourse become key symbolic modes for making sense of this experience. Integration – or more inclusively, adaptation – is thus conceived as an embodied, temporal, rhythmic process of habit transformation, with ‘breaks’ in the flow of an event serving as a window into processes of change. The project also explores the prominence of past and future in migrant lives, as decision-making becomes more conscious, and new versions of heritage take shape. The ultimate goals of this research are to produce a novel theoretical framework for exploring issues of integration, identification, and belonging in a sociolinguistics of mobility, or superdiversity. In understanding how adaptation occurs, families and communities can be equipped with practical strategies to deal with the novelties experienced during migration, and to find a renewed sense of eurythmia, or flow. The research aligns with H2020’s goals for ‘inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’.


Net EU contribution
€ 214 158,72
0313 Oslo

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Norge Oslo og Viken Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 214 158,72