• Heiko Motschenbacher
Part of the Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse book series (PSDS)


As the preceding analyses have shown, the ESC represents a popular culture media event that engages in the re-negotiation of identity-related normativities in the light of (what is perceived as being compatible with) Europeanness . In this final chapter, central language-based discursive mechanisms of identity construction that have been documented in the preceding empirical chapters are reviewed and discussed with respect to their contribution to contemporary European identity formation. The five interrelated mechanisms that are discussed are de-essentialisation (Sect. 9.2), inclusion (Sect. 9.3), camp (Sect. 9.4), crossing (Sect. 9.5), and languaging (Sect. 8.6). These discursive mechanisms yield evidence for central normativity shifts that are associated with Europeanisation . As Europeanisation strategies, they are first and foremost relevant to the ESC, because they help participants to “pass” as European on the ESC stage. However, the discussion will at various points contrast them with the top-down Europeanisation strategies of the EU as the central political institution in Europe.


Language Policy National Language Identity Construction National Representation Language Choice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Allatson, Paul. 2007. ‘Antes cursi que sencilla’. Eurovision Song Contests and the kitsch-drive to Euro-unity. Culture, Theory & Critique 48(1): 87–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined communities. Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Androutsopoulos, Jannis. 2014. Moments of sharing: Entextualization and linguistic repertoires in social networking. Journal of Pragmatics 73: 4–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Auer, Peter. 2006. Sociolinguistic crossing. In Encyclopedia of language & linguistics, vol. XI, ed. Edward K. Brown, 490–492. Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bachmann, Ingo. 2011. Civil partnership—‘gay marriage in all but name’. A corpus-driven analysis of discourses of same-sex relationships in the UK Parliament. Corpora 6(1): 77–105.Google Scholar
  6. Baker, Paul. 2005. Public discourses of gay men. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Berlant, Lauren, and Michael Warner. 1998. Sex in public. Critical Inquiry 24(2): 547–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blommaert, Jan, and Ad Backus. 2012. Superdiverse repertoires and the individual. Tilburg: Tilburg University.Google Scholar
  9. Bohlman, Philip V. 2004a. Popular music on the stage of a United Europe—Southeastern Europe in the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’. In United Europe—United music? Diversity and social dimensions in Central and Southeastern Europe, ed. Bruno B. Reuer, 55–73. Berlin: Weidler.Google Scholar
  10. Borneman, John, and Nick Fowler. 1997. Europeanization. Annual Review of Anthropology 26(1): 487–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bucholtz, Mary. 2003. Sociolinguistic nostalgia and the authentication of identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics 7(3): 398–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bucholtz, Mary, and Kira Hall. 2004. Theorizing identity in language and sexuality research. Language in Society 33(4): 469–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Busch, Brigitta. 2012. The linguistic repertoire revisited. Applied Linguistics 33(5): 503–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cameron, Deborah. 2001. Working with spoken discourse. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Cameron, Deborah, and Don Kulick. 2003. Language and sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cleto, Fabio. 1999. Introduction. Queering the camp. In Camp: Queer aesthetics and the performing subject. A reader, ed. Fabio Cleto, 1–42. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2006. Camp. In Routledge international encyclopedia of queer culture, ed. David A. Gerstner, 121–124. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Coupland, Nikolas. 2003. Sociolinguistic authenticities. Journal of Sociolinguistics 7(3): 417–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ———. 2014. Language, society and authenticity: Themes and perspectives. In Indexing authenticity: Sociolinguistic perspectives, ed. Véronique Lacoste, Jakob Leimgruber, and Thiemo Breyer, 14–39. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  20. Downing, Lisa, and Robert Gillett. 2011. Introduction. In Queer in Europe. Contemporary case studies, ed. Lisa Downing and Robert Gillett, 1–10. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  21. Ferguson, Gibson. 2009. Issues in researching English as a lingua franca. A conceptual enquiry. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 19(2): 117–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gill, Martin. 2011. Authenticity. In Pragmatics in practice, ed. Jan-Ola Östman and Jef Verschueren, 46–65. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. ———. 2012. Nativeness, authority, authenticity: The construction of belonging and exclusion in debates about English language proficiency and immigration in Britain. In The languages of nation: Attitudes and norms, ed. Carol Percy and Mary Catherine Davidson, 271–291. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  24. Gluhovic, Milija. 2013. Sing for democracy: Human rights and sexuality discourse in the Eurovision Song Contest. In Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, feelings and politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, ed. Karen Fricker and Milija Gluhovic, 194–217. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Graddol, David. 2006. English next. Why global English may mean the end of ‘English as a foreign language’. London: British Council.Google Scholar
  26. Gura, Caitlin. 2015. Österreichs Abschneiden beim Eurovision Song Contest zwischen 2000 und 2013 und dessen Auswirkung auf die österreichische Identität. In Eurovision Song Contest: Eine kleine Geschichte zwischen Körper, Geschlecht und Nation, ed. Christine Ehardt, Georg Vogt, and Florian Wagner, 65–90. Wien: Zaglossus.Google Scholar
  27. Habermas, Jürgen. 2001. The postnational constellation: Political essays. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  28. ———. 2008. Ach, Europa. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  29. Harvey, Keith. 1998. Translating camp talk. Gay identities and cultural transfer. Translator 4(2): 295–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. ———. 2000. Describing camp talk. Language/pragmatics/politics. Language & Literature 9(3): 240–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ———. 2002. Camp talk and citationality. A queer take on ‘authentic’ and ‘represented’ utterance. Journal of Pragmatics 34(9): 1145–1165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Heller, Monica. 2011. Paths to post-nationalism. A critical ethnography of language and identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Inoue, Miyako. 2007. Echoes of modernity. Nationalism and the enigma of ‘women’s language’ in late nineteenth century Japan. In Words, worlds, and material girls. Language, gender, globalization, ed. Bonnie S. McElhinny, 157–203. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ivković, Dejan. 2013. The Eurovision Song Contest on YouTube: A corpus-based analysis of language attitudes. Language@Internet 10: 1–25. Accessed 23 Sept 2015.
  35. Jäkel, Olaf. 2006. ‘Defining the definition of marriage’. Competing cultural models in intercultural comparison. Essen: LAUD.Google Scholar
  36. James, Allan. 2005. The challenges of the lingua franca. English in the world and types of variety. In The globalisation of English and the English language classroom, ed. Claus Gnutzmann and Frauke Intemann, 133–144. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.Google Scholar
  37. Jones, Shannon, and Jelena Subotic. 2011. Fantasies of power. Performing Europeanization on the European periphery. European Journal of Cultural Studies 14(5): 542–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jordan, Paul. 2014. The modern fairy tale: Nation branding, national identity and the Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia. Tartu: University of Tartu Press.Google Scholar
  39. Jørgensen, J. Normann. 2004. Languaging and languagers. Copenhagen Studies in Bilingualism 36: 5–22.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 2008. Polylingual languaging around and among children and adolescents. International Journal of Multilingualism 5(3): 161–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Koller, Veronika. 2009. Butch camp. On the discursive construction of a queer identity position. Gender and Language 3(2): 249–274.Google Scholar
  42. Krzyżanowski, Michał. 2010. The discursive construction of European identities. A multi-level approach to discourse and identity in the transforming European Union. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  43. Lacoste, Véronique, Jakob Leimgruber, and Thiemo Breyer. 2014. Authenticity: A view from inside and outside sociolinguistics. In Indexing authenticity: Sociolinguistic perspectives, ed. Véronique Lacoste, Jakob Leimgruber, and Thiemo Breyer, 1–13. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  44. Lemish, Dafna. 2004. ‘My kind of campfire’. The Eurovision Song Contest and Israeli gay men. Journal of Popular Communication 2(1): 41–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Leppänen, Sirpa, Janus Spindler Møller, Thomas Rørbeck Nørreby, Andreas Stæhr, and Samu Kytölä. 2015. Authenticity, normativity and social media. Discourse, Context & Media 8: 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Machin, David. 2010. Analysing popular music: Image, sound, text. Los Angeles: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Makoni, Sinfree, and Alastair Pennycook. 2007. Disinventing and reconstituting languages. In Disinventing and reconstituting languages, ed. Sinfree Makoni and Alastair Pennycook, 1–41. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  48. Meyer, Moe. 1994. Reclaiming the discourse of camp. In The politics and poetics of camp, ed. Moe Meyer, 1–22. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Møller, Janus Spindler, and J. Normann Jørgensen. 2009. From language to languaging. Changing relations between humans and linguistic features. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 41: 143–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Morrish, Liz, and Helen Sauntson. 2007. New perspectives on language and sexual identity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mosse, George L. 1985. Nationalism and sexuality. Respectability and abnormal sexuality in modern Europe. New York: Howard Fertig.Google Scholar
  52. Motschenbacher, Heiko. 2012a. ‘I think Houston wants a kiss right?’: Linguistic constructions of heterosexualities at Eurovision Song Contest press conferences. Journal of Language and Sexuality 1(2): 127–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. ———. 2012b. Negotiating sexual desire at the Eurovision Song Contest. On the verge of homonormativity? In Let’s talk about (texts about) sex. Sex and language, ed. Marietta Calderón and Georg Marko, 287–299. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  54. ———. 2013a. New perspectives on English as a European Lingua Franca. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. ———. 2013b. ‘Now everybody can wear a skirt’. Linguistic constructions of non-heteronormativity at Eurovision Song Contest press conferences. Discourse & Society 24(5): 590–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. ———. 2016. English in Europe and the postmodernist paradigm. In Investigating English in Europe: Contexts and agendas, ed. Andrew Linn, 106–113. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar
  57. Otsuji, Emi, and Alastair Pennycook. 2011. Social inclusion and metrolingual practices. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 14(4): 413–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pajala, Mari. 2007a. Finlande: Zero points? Der Eurovision Song Contest in den finnischen Medien. Köln: Saxa.Google Scholar
  59. ———. 2007c. Finland, zero points. Nationality, failure, and shame in the Finnish media. In A song for Europe. Popular music and politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, ed. Ivan Raykoff and Robert Deam Tobin, 71–82. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  60. ———. 2013. Europe, with feeling: The Eurovision Song Contest as entertainment. In Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, feelings and politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, ed. Karen Fricker and Milija Gluhovic, 77–93. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Peckham, Donald W., Karolina Kalocsai, Emöke Kovács, and Tamah Sherman. 2012. English and multilingualism, or English only in a multilingual Europe? In Linguistic diversity in Europe. Current trends and discourses, ed. Patrick Studer and Iwar Werlen, 179–201. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar
  62. Peterson, V. Spike. 1999. Sexing political identities/nationalism as heterosexism. International Feminist Journal of Politics 1(1): 34–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Phillipson, Robert. 2008. Lingua franca or lingua frankensteinia? English in European integration and globalisation. World Englishes 27(2): 250–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Piller, Ingrid. 2002. Passing for a native speaker: Identity and success in second language learning. Journal of Sociolinguistics 6(2): 179–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Puar, Jasbir K. 2006. Mapping US homonormativities. Gender, Place and Culture 13(1): 67–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Puri, Jyoti. 2006. Sexuality, state, and nation. In Handbook of the new sexuality studies, ed. Steven Seidman, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks, 317–324. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  67. Rampton, Ben. 1998. Language crossing and the redefinition of reality. In Code-switching in conversation: Language, interaction and identity, ed. Peter Auer, 290–317. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. ———. 1999. Crossing. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 9(1/2): 54–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rampton, Ben, and Constandina Charalambous. 2012. Crossing. In The Routledge handbook of multilingualism, ed. Marilyn Martin-Jones, Adrian Blackledge, and Angela Creese, 482–498. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  70. Raykoff, Ivan. 2007. Camping on the borders of Europe. In A song for Europe. Popular music and politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, ed. Ivan Raykoff and Robert Deam Tobin, 1–12. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  71. Rehberg, Peter, and Mikko Tuhkanen. 2007. Danzing time. Dissociative camp and European synchrony. SQS 2(2): 43–59.Google Scholar
  72. Risse, Thomas. 2004. Social constructivism and European integration. In European integration theory, ed. Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez, 159–176. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  73. ———. 2010. A community of Europeans? Transnational identities and public spheres. London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Robertson, Pamela. 1996. Guilty pleasures. Feminist camp from Mae West to Madonna. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Sanders, Tina. 2015. Von Mittel und Zwecken… Zur Instrumentalisierung von ethnischen Minderheiten zur Selbststilisierung der Nation. In Eurovision Song Contest: Eine kleine Geschichte zwischen Körper, Geschlecht und Nation, ed. Christine Ehardt, Georg Vogt, and Florian Wagner, 46–64. Wien: Zaglossus.Google Scholar
  76. Santaemilia, José. 2009. ‘It’s unfair to be a second-class citizen because of love’. The legal, sexual and discursive struggles over ‘gay marriages’ in Spain. In Proceedings of the 5th Biennial International Gender and Language Association conference IGALA 5, Wellington 2008, ed. Julia de Bres, Janet Holmes, and Meredith Marra, 1–12. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington.Google Scholar
  77. Schneider, Britta. 2014. ‘Oh boy, ¿hablas español?’—Salsa and the multiple value of authenticity in late capitalism. In Indexing authenticity: Sociolinguistic perspectives, ed. Véronique Lacoste, Jakob Leimgruber, and Thiemo Breyer, 113–135. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  78. Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2009. Common ground and different realities. World Englishes and English as a lingua franca. World Englishes 28(2): 236–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sontag, Susan. 1999 [1964]. Notes on ‘camp’. In Camp: Queer aesthetics and the performing subject. A reader, ed. Fabio Cleto, 53–65. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  80. Stychin, Carl. 2014. Queer/Euro visions. In What’s queer about Europe? Productive encounters and re-enchanting paradigms, ed. Mireille Rosello and Sudeep Dasgupta, 171–188. New York: Fordham University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Sullivan, Nikki. 2003. A critical introduction to queer theory. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Tekin, Beyza Çagatay. 2010. Representations and othering in discourse. The construction of Turkey in the EU context. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Thibault, Paul J. 2011. First-order languaging dynamics and second-order language: The distributed language view. Ecological Psychology 23(3): 210–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Ulbricht, Alexej, Indraneel Sircar, and Koen Slootmaeckers. 2015. Queer to be kind: Exploring Western media discourses about the “Eastern bloc” during the 2007 and 2014 Eurovision Song Contests. Contemporary Southeastern Europe 2(1): 155–172.Google Scholar
  85. Vänskä, Annamari. 2007. Bespectacular and over the top. On the genealogy of lesbian camp. SQS 2(2): 66–80.Google Scholar
  86. Walters, Keith. 2011. Gendering French in Tunisia. Language ideologies and nationalism. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 211: 83–111.Google Scholar
  87. Wertheim, Suzanne. 2012. Gender, nationalism, and the attempted reconfiguration of sociolinguistic norms. Gender and Language 6(2): 261–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wiedlack, Maria Katharina, and Masha Neufeld. 2015. Taнцуй Eвpoпa и плaчь Poccия? Der Eurovision Song Contest 2014—Krieg der Kulturen zwischen Ost und West? In Eurovision Song Contest: Eine kleine Geschichte zwischen Körper, Geschlecht und Nation, ed. Christine Ehardt, Georg Vogt, and Florian Wagner, 149–167. Wien: Zaglossus.Google Scholar
  89. Wilce, James M., and Janina Fenigsen. 2015. De-essentializing authenticity: A semiotic approach. Semiotica 203: 137–152.Google Scholar
  90. Wodak, Ruth. 2010. ‘Communicating Europe’. Analyzing, interpreting, and understanding multilingualism and the discursive construction of transnational identities. In Globalization, discourse, media. In a critical perspective, ed. Anna Duszak, Juliane House, and Łukasz Kumięga, 17–60. Warsaw: University of Warsaw.Google Scholar
  91. Wodak, Ruth, and Jo Angouri. 2014. From Grexit to Grecovery: Euro/crisis discourses. Discourse & Society 25(4): 417–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wodak, Ruth, Majid KhosraviNik, and Brigitte Mral (eds.). 2013. Right-wing populism in Europe: Politics and discourse. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiko Motschenbacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Goethe-University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurtGermany

Personalised recommendations