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ERIC Number: EJ1041790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 78
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Contesting Public Monolingualism and Diglossia: Rethinking Political Theory and Language Policy for a Multilingual World
May, Stephen
Language Policy, v13 n4 p371-393 Nov 2014
In many language policy and political theory discussions, there is an overt skepticism, and at times outright hostility, towards the ongoing maintenance of private and, especially, public multilingualism, particularly when these include/incorporate the languages of linguistic minorities. For linguistic minority individuals, ongoing multilingualism is seen as delimiting the possibilities of their integration into the national society and the successful acquisition of the dominant (national) language(s). For linguistic minority groups, the maintenance/support of minority languages is viewed as a willful form of communal ghettoization, while any accommodation of public multilingualism--via, for example, bilingual education--is concurrently constructed as both an obstacle to effective communication for these groups in the wider society and a threat to their social mobility. The latter preoccupations with effective communication and social mobility also underlie recent linguistic cosmopolitan arguments in political theory that link globalization, communication and social mobility inextricably with the need for acquiring English as the global lingua franca. In this article, I critique and contest both this ongoing opposition to multilingualism, and the related privileging of English as global lingua franca, drawing primarily on political theory accounts, by way of example. Following from this, I argue that ongoing support for individual and public multilingualism provides not only greater opportunities for linguistic justice but also, counter-intuitively, facilitates wider inclusion and social mobility for linguistic minorities in an increasingly globalized world.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A