Jolien Makkinga is a PhD candidate at the Meertens Institute and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. She joined the department in September 2014. The PhD project, founded by EU project Advancing the European Multilingual Experience (AThEME), Meertens Institute and Maastricht University, examines how residents of a nursing home in Maastricht experience senses of belonging through language practices. Many older people who make the transition to a nursing home encounter many difficulties in experiencing belonging and a place where they feel “at home”. Residents encounter difficulties with the blurred lines between public and private areas, social and language structures of the nursing home and power relations between residents and nursing staff and cultural narratives on aging. Language practices can play an important role in experiencing (not) belonging. Through ethnographic fieldwork in a nursing home where the local dialect is spoken often, this PhD project explores how language practices contribute to processes of inclusion and exclusion, how cultural narratives on aging are reinforced through language practices and how residents themselves use language practices for empowerment.
Her wider research interests are aging, belonging, linguistic repertoires and processes of identification.
Jolien holds an M.A. in Contemporary Asian Studies from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She obtained her B.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of Utrecht, and completed part of her studies at the University of Oklahoma, USA.