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Imagined Communities, Imagined Libraries : The Investment Approach to Library Service Henninger, Ean 2017-03-10

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What is the value of investment?Actively considering how investment plays out in contextoffers several benefits. An investment approach:• challenges views of individuals as solely responsible fortheir motivations and behavior• articulates and critically engages with the roles ofsurrounding social forces• highlights the role of language as a social practice thatshapes and maintains those forces• explains more about behavior by including thecomplexities of social contexts• improves outcomes in real-world situationsHow can it be used in libraries?The investment approach can be used wherever we seek toincrease identification and engagement with the library: incollections, programming, instruction, general use, and more.To support investment, we must describe and perhapschange library practices where they shape interactionsamong identity, capital, and ideology. Determining howidentities are represented, how access to capital occurs, andhow ideologies include or exclude can then “create a spacein which learners are not by default marginalized or resistant,but where they have an agentive capacity to evaluate andnegotiate the constraints and opportunities of their sociallocation” (Darvin & Norton, 2015, p. 47).Selected referencesDarvin, R., & Norton, B. (2015). Identity and a model of__investment in applied linguistics. Annual Review of Applied__Linguistics, 35, 36-56.Norton, B. (2013). Identity and language learning: Extending the_ |conversation (2nd ed.). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters.Norton Peirce, B. (1995). Social identity, investment, and_||language learning.TESOL Quarterly, 29(1), 9-31.AcknowledgmentsMy thanks to Bonny Norton and Ron Darvin for the use oftheir model and their support of this project.IMAGINED COMMUNITIES, IMAGINED LIBRARIES:THE INVESTMENT APPROACH TO LIBRARY SERVICEEan Henninger :: University of British Columbia :: canadean@alumni.ubc.caIntroducing the projectThis poster represents a major paper from UBC’s LLED 510:Language, Discourse, and Identity. I was curious to see howthe work on investment originated by Bonny Norton couldbe extended to other professional contexts, so I conductedan in-depth conceptual analysis of its applicability to librarysettings.What is investment?Investment is an explanatory construct conceived of as asociological complement to psychological motivation. Itsignals the complex relationships between individualidentities and the forces of capital and ideology, whichmutually inform and affect one another (Norton, 2013).A key idea is that people invest themselves in a given person,practice, or community because they imagine it to fit withtheir desired identities, capital, and ideologies. Examiningthese three factors can help to understand and change theconditions under which people engage with other entities intheir social worlds (Norton, 2013). Such entities may easilyinclude libraries and classrooms.Where does the idea come from?Investment was first introduced in 1995 by Bonny Norton,who was in turn influenced by poststructuralist critics suchas sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, cultural theorist ChristineWeedon, and historian Benedict Anderson.Important concepts from these thinkers include:• language as a social practice• identity as multiple, shifting, and shaped by language• identities and communities as imagined constructsAfter more than twenty years of ongoing development inthe literature on applied linguistics and second-languageacquisition, investment is ripe for being decentered from itsprofessional moorings and brought to bear on other fields.The recent model by Darvin and Norton (2015) is especiallyhelpful in this regard.IDENTITYIDEOLOGYINVESTMENTpositioningtakes place as peopledefine their identitiesin relation to broaderideologies.systematic patterns of controlresult as ideologies directthe flows of various kindsof capital.affordances /perceived benefitsrefer to various kinds ofaccess to capital availableto different identities.IDENTITY is multiple, shifting, and negotiated through language between the individual and society. IDEOLOGY refers to the normative sets of ideas that construct power structures and distributions.consists of the social, cultural, and economic tokens of power that govern social functions.INVESTMENT occurs when people relate to their concept of a given person, practice,or community because it aligns with their imagined identities, their desires for access to capital,and the wider ideologies that affect them.

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