King, Lid & Lorna Carson (Eds.) (2017). Multilingual identities: A study of attitudes towards multilingualism in three European cities. London: Languages Company. 99 pp. (ISBN 978-0-9564256-4-5) (Link:

From the Preface: A study in three cities (Sofia, Dublin and Krakow) using Concourse sampling (Q methodology) was carried out in order to explore the subjective disposition of key stakeholders and to draw some tentative conclusions about what might be possible in the future. We were keen to explore a new and innovative research methodology in studies of urban life and cities. The focus of our research was on the subjective understanding of discourses related to urban multilingualism, and therefore Q methodology, used to collect, analyse and interpret data showing individual beliefs about a particular topic, was particularly appropriate. In our case this was the reality of multilingualism in European cities and the prospects of their becoming multilingual or more multilingual in the context of the European Union and the free movement of people. Our target group were young people, possible leaders in society in the future. They were asked to sort statements – opinions, not facts – obtained in the discourse which surrounds the topic and order them according to their own point of view. Thus we have been exposed in our analysis to a process of documenting ‘subjectivity’, the personal account of participants as citizens and residents in their own city and we were able to ‘hear’ different stories and histories of the three cities.

· Lid King established the Languages Company, London <> in 2008, originally in order to support the national policy on languages and also to promote languages pedagogy and policy issues. Lorna Carson <carsonle> is in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.


Preface (by Maria Stoicheva, pp. 1-2)

1 Overview of research and policy (by Penka Hristova, Daniela Modrescu, & Dilyana Pavlova, pp. 3-19)

Research into urban multilingualism – an historical oversight?

Defining multilingualism

Researching urban multilingualism


Policy perspectives

Future directions


2 Q method used in the survey ( by Radosveta Drakeva, pp. 20-25)

In this chapter we describe the method, used for collecting and analyzing data for the research project ‘Identities in urban contexts: the European multilingual city’. In order to collect more focused views of young people concerning multilingualism in urban context, the survey was conducted using the Q-method (Q-methodology).

3 Q methodology behind the PQmethod software (by Kaloyan Haralampiev, pp. 26-35)

In this section we describe the algorithm behind the PQMethod software and present the results of the EUROMEC research project conducted in June-July 2016 in three European cities: Sofia, Dublin and Krakow.

4 Multilingualism in the city – The case of Dublin (by Daniela Modrescu & Lorna Carson, pp. 36-48)

Overview of Dublin results

Introducing Dublin

Profile of Dublin participants


Discussion of Dublin findings

5 Multilingualism in a Central European city: The case of Kraków in a historical and patrimonial context (by Krzysztof Kowalski, pp. 49-58)

A symbol of identity

An historical overview of the city

Attitudes to multilingualism––the Q-sort

Profile of the respondents

Analysis of the results


6 Multilingualism in the city – The case of Sofia (by Maya Grekova, pp.59-71)

The city of Sofia and some general language issues

Results of the data processing

Profile of the respondents

Analysis of the results Comparison between discourses

Consensual statements


7 Three cities: Language attitudes and stories of contemporary Europe (by Joseph Lo Bianco, pp. 72-78)

Political containers: urban, national, transnational

A word about national languages

The three cities

Concluding remarks


1. Q statements common to each city (pp. 79-80)

2. Technical note: How did we choose the form of the Q-matrix? (by Kaloyan Haralampiev, pp. 81-83)

3. Rounded factor scores for the three cities (pp. 84-89)

4. Distinguishing statements for Kraków (pp. 90-95)

5. Breakdown of Dublin discourses (pp. 96-99)

This publication is a project of the Jean Monnet Network European Identity, Culture, Exchanges and Multilingualism (EUROMEC Consortium, and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.