Breadcrumb

Prof. Alexandre Duchêne

© Alan Humerose

Member of the Board of Directors

Full Professor in the Sociology of language, UNIFR

Research interests

  • Language and social inequality
  • Multilingualism, school and social selection
  • Multilingualism and the workplace
  • Multilingualism, human migration and globalization
  • Language politics, linguistic minorities

Research projects (direction)

Duration

01.2021 - 12.2023

This research project performs a retrospective analysis of the challenges posed by Swiss multilingualism during the Covid-19 pandemic. Continuous communication with the population is necessary in times of crisis – indeed, communication is...

Title

Postcolonial encounters in globalisation

(Dis)entangling Portuguese-speaking migrant's social positionings in Switzerland

Duration

09.2019 - 09.2020

Lusophonia embraces different kind of groups and people.  If they share the Portuguese language, on the one hand, they do not share the same historical position on the other. This project on language, identity and labour migration attempts...

Title
Duration

01.2017 - 12.2019

How can inequalities (in terms of social class, language, ability, race, gender) be addressed in the classroom by focussing on social processes and encouraging students to reflect on possible ways of challenging them? This question is explored...

Duration

01.2017 - 12.2019

This collaborative project aims at moving beyond common and acritical assumptions about capitalism and language that tend to take them for granted, without sufficiently interrogating their historical development, their heterogeneous manifestations...

Title

A Web of Care

Linguistic resources and the management of labor in the healthcare industry

Duration

01.2015 - 09.2019

Using the healthcare industry as a site of study, this project aims to uncover the conditions in which particular configurations of language proficiency and speakers become desired commodities, as the demands of globally mobile patients are...

Duration

01.2016 - 12.2018

The purpose of this project is to conduct a detailed analysis on language census issues in Switzerland since the 19th century and to better understand the role this tool plays in the Swiss political landscape. This project will also support...

Duration

01.2016 - 12.2017

This literature review aims to present an overview of scientific research on the social, political and linguistic issues of language census by analysing international works conducted in various sociopolitical and sociolinguistic contexts....

Duration

01.2013 - 04.2016

The project examines the German-French language border in Switzerland through the analysis of touristic discourses and activities. By looking at the language border through the eyes of tourism, the project places Swiss multilingualism clearly...

Duration

09.2014 - 08.2015

In collaboration with the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) In 2010, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) began conducting an annual population census. The data are mainly gathered from registers of residents, with additional information...

Duration

01.2013 - 12.2014

In cooperation with the University of Lausanne UNIL Today's labour market is characterised by a globalised economy with increasing immigration and mobility. Current economic, social and technological conditions have lent multilingual practices...

Title

Towards a critical pedagogy of diversity

Concepts, training and pedagogical actions

Duration

01.2010 - 12.2013

This project lays out a critical approach towards a pedagogy of diversity that takes social inequality among children as a starting point and reflects on how social processes at school transform social inequality into educational inequality....

Title

Performing Swissness

Institutions, discourse and social transformation

Duration

01.2010 - 12.2013

Work in our project “Performing Swissness: institutions, discourse and social transformation” focuses on ways in which discourse practices at Swiss institutions for culture, tourism and economic development construct a particular image of...

Title

Language courses for personnel in the Federal Administration

Evaluation and analysis of courses offered and their attendance

Duration

01.2012 - 12.2013

In the interest of advancing multilingualism in public services, the Swiss Confederation is legally bound to promoting federal employees' language skills in Switzerland's official languages. The divisions within the Federal Administration...

Duration

01.2012 - 12.2013

The goal of the project mandated by the department of education of the Canton of Geneva was to understand the role which available orientation measures, including courses, play in the scholastic and professional integration of young immigrants....

Title

Swiss Federal Administration and the representation of language communities

An analysis of processes and strategies for recruiting personnel

Duration

01.2012 - 01.2013

In Switzerland’s political dialogue, an adequate representation of Swiss language communities in the Federal Administration is considered to be a vital expression of multilingualism in Switzerland. Diverse legal bases and directives have...

Title

Multilingualism and Mobility

Linguistic practices and the construction of identity

Duration

01.2010 - 12.2012

This project focuses on the study of multilingualism from the perspective of the recent mobilities and globalisation paradigm. This paradigm takes up the analysis of linguistic practices by mobile people with transnational trajectories such...

Duration

01.2010 - 12.2011

The city Biel/Bienne is experiencing an economic boom. Alongside the traditional watch industry, Biel/Bienne has set its sights on diversification and is now exploring the service and communication sector. This recent development is particularly...

Title

The Management of Multilingualism in Institutional Sites

La Gestión del Multilinguismo en el Ámbito Institucional

Duration

01.2007 - 12.2010

The object of the present investigation is to undertake ethnographic studies at three sites: a non-governmental organization dedicated to adult education, a public hospital, and a multinational company based in Spain. The specific objectives...

Title

Languages, Identity and Tourism

A contribution towards understanding the social and linguistic challenges facing Switzerland in the context of globalisation

Duration

01.2005 - 12.2009

This project adopts a sociolinguistic approach to examine the linguistic aspects of tourism on three levels: 1. How do people deal with multilingualism in basic interaction, for example, at the airport or the tourist information desk? 2....

Duration

The project offers a space for methodological reflections about critical ethnographic sociolinguistic research based on researchers’ experiences. On a dedicated website, the team makes available a collection of personal tales about specific...

Research projects (collaboration)

Duration

09.2020 - 08.2021

As the question of the teaching-learning of French in vocational schools in Switzerland is under debate once again, it is essential to study and understand the place and role of French as a school discipline, a working tool and a subject...

Title

Cold rush

Dynamics of language and identity in expanding Arctic economics

Duration

01.2016 - 12.2020

The Cold Rush project examines the transforming Arctic North as an expanding hotspot at the juncture of economic development and cultural transformation, focusing on the ways in which language and identity matter in these processes. We have...

Publications