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ERIC Number: EJ1147876
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Contested Spaces in Policy Enactment: A Bourdieusian Analysis of Language Policy in Singapore
Bokhorst-Heng, Wendy D.; Silver, Rita Elaine
Language Policy, v16 n3 p333-351 Aug 2017
The basic structure and rhetoric of national language policy in multilingual Singapore has remained essentially unchanged since independence with four official languages positioned within the national quadrilingual framework and used in all public spheres, and individual bilingualism encouraged in the private sphere. However, also since independence, there has been an active undercurrent of inconsistencies, suggesting that the apparent top-down, uncontested language policy is in fact an active contested space, particularly in how these policies are implemented in schools. Specifically, we are interested in language shift, maintenance and medium of instruction policies, their consistencies and discontinuities. To understand the apparent tension between static quadrilingual language policy and planning and the dynamic reality of policy shifts, we adopt Bourdieu's metaphor of field. In so doing, we take analyses beyond a Fishmanian domain-based framework (Fishman in "La Linguist" 1(2):67-88, 1965) which frequently informs language policy analysis in Singapore but fails to capture fully the paradoxical shifts and impacts that different fields have on each other with respect to language and the power dynamics involved (Savage and Silva in "Cult Sociol" 7(2):111-126, 2013. doi: 10.1177/1749975512473992 ). We refer to Chinese and Indian language varieties as our primary examples, showing how a field analysis illuminates the different developments and paradoxes in policies for these languages.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A