Jueves 22, noviembre, 2018


Fecha: Jueves 22, noviembre, 2018
Hora: 01:00

Investigadora Miriam Teschl


Los invitamos al próximo Seminario de Investigación organizado por el IIEP-BAIRES, que se realizará en la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas el  jueves 22 de Noviembre  de 13 a 15 hs. aula 413.

Investigadora Miriam Teschl 

“Multilingualism and Wellbeing”

The literature on the various aspects, pre-conditions, consequences and experiences of bi- and multilingualism is huge. Among others, there is economics of languages, often dealing with cost-benefit aspects of language learning but also, related to this, the question of how many languages is it efficient to have on a society level (Ginsburgh and Weber 2016). Economics of language also includes research on the link between language and ethnic diversity and economic development: the tendency seems to be that more languages are associated with slower economic growth for example (Alesina and La Ferrara 1995). A bit against this view, UNESCO is publishing an Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger and hence raises the consciousness for the cultural and social value of the diversity of languages. For example, they count 18 languages in danger (ranging from vulnerable to extinct languages) in Argentina. There is also a lot of literature on the education of multilingualism, on the reciprocal influences of multiculturalism and multiple identities through languages and intercultural knowledge, and also on issues of language and justice (e.g. van Parijs 2011). However, little has been written so far on the relation between wellbeing and languages.
My presentation will be a first attempt to make a small contribution to exactly that question. More precisely, I try to give a (certainly incomplete) overview of some of the gains and advantages on a personal, interpersonal as well as social level multilingualism and in particular multilingual education may achieve. I will argue that the advantages from language learning and multilingualism can be assessed from the perspective of the capability approach as developed by Amartya Sen in particular. However, the capability approach alone may not be sufficiently well equipped to guide policy making to respond to unequal functionings and capabilities due to language learning and I therefore briefly introduce Neil Thin’s idea of the “Wellbeing Lens”, which argues that policy decisions should be made such that they are efficient, fair and enjoyable to everyone. These seem to be particular relevant concerns in the context of multilingual issues within our societies

 Miriam Teschl 

Miriam Teschl is associate professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and is specialised in economics and philosophy. Before coming to France, she was Director of Studies in Economics at Robinson and Homerton College at the University of Cambridge and Hertha Firnberg Research Fellow at the University of Vienna in Austria. She is interested in the concept of identity in economic theory and how identity impacts individual economic decision-making, but also how decision processes may be influenced by internal motivational conflict. She also studies the concept of wellbeing from different angles, and is particularly interested in the link between languages, education, justice and wellbeing.