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date: 16 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Social justice has been at the core of sociolinguistics since its emergence as a field in the 1960s. Sociolinguists have taken strong stances in support of language diversity and have worked in solidarity with language-minoritized communities to counteract social inequalities. The early years of sociolinguistics, shaped by a positivist modernist approach, optimistically believed top-down multilingual language policies, alongside empirical research that documented the legitimacy of all language and language varieties, would be sufficient in effectively addressing social inequalities. Over the past fifty years, sociolinguists have come to realize the rooted nature of inequalities. This volume develops this understanding and builds on recent work on the complicity of sociolinguistics in reinforcing the inequalities it critiques and the emergence of critical poststructuralist sociolinguistics. This conclusion draws upon these lessons to develop general principles for the field.

Keywords: social justice, sociolinguistics, inequality, ideology, critical poststructuralist sociolinguistics, poststructuralism

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