SlaVienna - Communicative practices in Vienna’s business hotpots run by Slavic-speaking migrants


Type Research Project

Duration May 1, 2020 - May 1, 2023

https://www.wu.ac.at/slawisch/research/current-projects/10
  • Institute for Slavic Languages IN (Details)
  • Department of Foreign Language Business Communication DP (Details)
  • Competence Center for Business Languages WE (Details)

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Abstract (German)

Vienna as a city is strongly shaped inter alia, by migrants from Slavic- speaking countries, including primarily migrants from the Balkans along with the former Soviet Union citizens. Its urban space is characterized by various hot spots, characterized by accumulations of small businesses such as cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, etc., run by Slavs migrants. These predominantly small-scale businesses represent typical forms of ethnic entrepreneurship. In this context, the language of the country of origin may often be turned from a barrier into a chance, which becomes commodified in business context.
These small businesses create local socio-economic spaces at several hot spots in Vienna which are distinct in cultural and linguistic terms, and which produce specific multicultural social urban spaces of their own, i.e. points at which members of the Austrian majority society and migrants meet.
The present project is to investigate local multicultural, though ethnically coined or sometimes even locally branded economic spaces in Vienna, created by the Slavs migrants, including representatives of the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. This research project adopts an ethnographic perspective as the focus is on communicative practices (e.g. script-based and oral) which shape and essentially characterize these local economic spaces and the ways in which ethnic businesses operate.


Abstract (English)

Vienna as a city is strongly shaped inter alia, by migrants from Slavic- speaking countries, including primarily migrants from the Balkans along with the former Soviet Union citizens. Its urban space is characterized by various hot spots, characterized by accumulations of small businesses such as cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, etc., run by Slavs migrants. These predominantly small-scale businesses represent typical forms of ethnic entrepreneurship. In this context, the language of the country of origin may often be turned from a barrier into a chance, which becomes commodified in business context.
These small businesses create local socio-economic spaces at several hot spots in Vienna which are distinct in cultural and linguistic terms, and which produce specific multicultural social urban spaces of their own, i.e. points at which members of the Austrian majority society and migrants meet.
The present project is to investigate local multicultural, though ethnically coined or sometimes even locally branded economic spaces in Vienna, created by the Slavs migrants, including representatives of the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. This research project adopts an ethnographic perspective as the focus is on communicative practices (e.g. script-based and oral) which shape and essentially characterize these local economic spaces and the ways in which ethnic businesses operate.

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