- The Oxford Handbook of Language and Society
- List of Contributors
- Introduction—Language and Society: A Critical Poststructuralist Perspective
- Language and Society: Historical Overview and the Emergence of a Field of Study
- Language, Imperialism, and the Modern Nation-State System: Implications for Language Rights
- Language and Political Economy
- Language and Power
- Language Ideologies
- Language Policy and Local Practices
- Language, Migration, Diaspora: Challenging the Big Battalions of Groupism
- Bilingualism, Multilingualism, Globalization, and Superdiversity: Toward Sociolinguistic Repertoires
- Diglossia and Beyond
- Language Shift and Sustainability: Critical Discourses and Beyond
- Discourses of Endangerment from Mother Tongues to Machine Readability
- Sign Languages
- Multiliteracies and Transcultural Education
- Urban Languages in African Contexts: Toward a Multimodal Approach to Urban Languages
- Indigenous Peoples and Their Languages
- Entry Visa Denied: The Construction of Symbolic Language Borders in Educational Settings
- Linguistic Profiling and Discrimination
- From Elderspeak to Gerontolinguistics: Sociolinguistic Myths
- Language and Racialization
- Language and Sexuality
- Linguistic Landscapes
- The Internet, Language, and Virtual Interactions
- Mediatization and the Language of Journalism
- Bilingual Education
- Conclusion: Moving the Study of Language and Society into the Future
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the role of language, and the related status of language varieties, in the modern nation-state system, which emphasizes linguistic homogeneity, especially in the public realm. The emphasis on linguistic homogeneity within modern nation-states, which specifically disadvantages minority language speakers, is compared to the more open, multilingual approach adopted by a range of empires historically. A more linguistically accommodative approach in international law has also emerged, albeit unevenly, over the last sixty to seventy years. The latter emphasizes the public accommodation of minority languages, particularly for national minorities, which equates to what Kloss (1977) has termed “promotion-oriented” language rights. The chapter concludes that the expansion of promotion-oriented language rights accords with a more pluralistic and inclusive approach to linguistic diversity in an increasingly globalized world. Such developments are thus also compatible with the “multilingual turn,” recognizing and valuing multilingual repertoires as a basis for sociolinguistic analysis.
Stephen May is Professor of Education in Te Puna Wananga (School of Māori Education) in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has written widely on language rights, language policy, and language education. To date, he has published fifteen books and over ninety academic articles and book chapters in these areas. His key books include Language and Minority Rights (2nd ed.; Routledge, 2012), the first edition of which received an American Library Association Choice’s Outstanding Academic Title award (2008). His latest book is a significant new edited collection, The Multilingual Turn (Routledge, 2014). He has previously edited, with Nancy Hornberger, Language Policy and Political Issues in Education, Volume 1 of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2nd ed.; Springer, 2008); and with Christine Sleeter, Critical Multiculturalism: Theory and Praxis (Routledge, 2010). He is General Editor of the third edition of the 10-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Education (Springer, 2017), and a Founding Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Ethnicities (Sage). His homepage is http://www.education.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/stephen-may.
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