Language and Politics

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Language, this book argues, is political from top to bottom, whether considered at the level of an individual speaker's choice of language or style of discourse with others (where interpersonal politics are performed), or at the level of political rhetoric, or indeed all the way up to the formation of national languages. By bringing together this set of topics and highlighting how they are interrelated, the book will function well as a textbook on any applied or sociolinguistic course in which some or all of these various aspects of the politics of language are covered.The chapter headings include:* How politics permeates language (and vice-versa)* Language and nation* The social politics of language choice and linguistic correctness* Politics embedded in language* Taboo language and its restriction* Rhetoric, propaganda and interpretation* Power, hegemony and choices"
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Editorial Reviews

Deborah Cameron
John Joseph brings together issues that are often kept apart, draws on insights from a range of disciplines and thinkers, and offers perspectives on such topical questions as linguistic imperialism and the global spread of English, hate speech and politically correct language, and the 'manufacture of consent' through political propaganda.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John E. Joseph is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh

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Table of Contents


Volume I

Part 1: Persuasion and Propaganda

1. Harold D. Lasswell, ‘The Theory of Political Propaganda’, American Political Science Review, 1927, 21, 3, 627–31.

2. Hadley Cantril, ‘Propaganda Analysis’, The English Journal, 1938, 27, 3, 217–21.

3. George Orwell, ‘Propaganda and Demotic Speech’ [1944], in Peter Davison (ed.), The Complete Works of George Orwell, Vol. 16 (‘I Have Tried to Tell the Truth: 1943–1944’) (Secker and Warburg, 1998), pp. 310–16.

4. Michael Sproule, ‘Progressive Propaganda Critics and the Magic Bullet Myth’, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1989, 6, 3, 225–46.

5. Noam Chomsky, ‘Language in the Service of Propaganda’, Chronicles of Dissent (Common Courage Press, 1992), pp. 1–22.

Part 2: Language and Political Theory

6. John Locke, ‘Of Power’, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding [1690], The Works of John Locke, 11th edn. (London, 1812), pp. 233–58 (ch. 21, §§1–41).

7. Jeremy Bentham, ‘The Limits of Jurisprudence Defined’ [1782], in Mary Peter Mack (ed.), A Bentham Reader (Pegasus, 1969), pp. 145–67.

8. Raymond Williams, Review of The Language of Politics by James J. Boulton, History and Theory, 1965, 4, 3, 380–7.

9. Nicholas Xenos, ‘Political Theory and the Language of Politics’, Polity, 1988, 21, 2, 419–25.

10. Hannah Dawson, ‘Locke on Language in (Civil) Society’, History of Political Thought, 2005, 26, 3, 398–425.

Part 3: Political Uses of Language in the Past

11. Sir George Cornewall Lewis, ‘Introduction’, Remarks On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms (London, 1832), pp. 1–17.

12. Sir George Cornewall Lewis, ‘Right and Wrong’, Remarks On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms (London, 1832), pp. 22–38.

13. Sir George Cornewall Lewis, ‘Nature’, Remarks On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms (London, 1832), pp. 135–50.

14. John Stuart Mill, Review of Cornewall Lewis’s On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms, Examiner, 22 April 1832, p. 259; Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1 (May 1832), pp. 164–72.

15. Lowry Charles Wimberly, ‘American Political Cant’, American Speech, 1926, 2, 3, 135–9.

16. Victor Klemperer, ‘LTI’ [1957], The Language of the Third Reich, trans. Martin Brady (Continuum, 2000), pp. 9–16.

17. Victor Klemperer, ‘Distinguishing Feature: Poverty’ [1957], The Language of the Third Reich, trans. Martin Brady (Continuum, 2000), pp. 19–24.

18. Victor Klemperer, ‘The First Three Words of the Nazi Language’ and ‘On a Single Working Day’ [1957], The Language of the Third Reich, trans. Martin Brady (Continuum, 2000), pp. 41–5, 93–6.

19. Victor Klemperer, ‘If Two People do the Same Thing …’ [1957], The Language of the Third Reich, trans. Martin Brady (Continuum, 2000), pp. 148–58.

20. Stuart Chase, ‘A Look Round the Modern World’ and ‘Stroll with the Statesmen’, The Tyranny of Words (Methuen, 1938), pp. 12–19, 228–43.

Volume II

Part 4: Political Uses of Language in Recent Decades

21. Anna Wierzbicka, ‘Antitotalitarian Language in Poland: Some Mechanisms of Linguistic Self-Defense’, Language in Society, 1990, 19, 1, 1–59.

22. Senko K. Maynard, ‘Images of Involvement and Integrity: Rhetorical Style of a Japanese Politician’, Discourse & Society, 1994, 5, 2, 233–61.

23. Norman Fairclough, ‘The Making of the Language of New Labour’, New Labour, New Language? (Routledge, 2000), pp. 66–94.

24. Richard D. Anderson, Jr, ‘Metaphors of Dictatorship and Democracy: Change in the Russian Political Lexicon and the Transformation of Russian Politics’, Slavic Review, 2001, 60, 2, 312–35.

25. Pierre Bourdieu and Loïc Wacquant, ‘New Liberal Speak: Notes on the New Planetary Vulgate’, Radical Philosophy, 2001, 105, 2–5.

26. D. G. Butt, A. Lukin, and C. M. I. M. Matthiessen, ‘Grammar: The First Covert Operation of War’, Discourse & Society, 2004, 15, 2–3, 267–90.

27. Alan Cienki, ‘Bush’s and Gore’s Language and Gestures in the 2000 US Presidential Debates: A Test Case for Two Models of Metaphors’, Journal of Language and Politics, 2004, 3, 409–40.

Part 5: Analysing Political Language

28. Charles E. Osgood, ‘Conservative Words and Radical Sentences in the Semantics of International Politics’, Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, 1978, 8, 2, 43–61.

29. F. Burton and P. Carlen, ‘Official Discourse and State Apparatuses’, Official Discourse: On Discourse Analysis, Government Publications, Ideology, and the State (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), pp. 34–52.

30. Roger Fowler and Gunther Kress, ‘Rules and Regulations’, Language and Control (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), pp. 26–45.

31. S. G. Obeng, ‘Language and Politics: Indirectness in Political Discourse’, Discourse & Society, 1997, 8, 1, 49–83.

32. Sandra Harris, ‘Being Politically Impolite: Extending Politeness Theory to Adversarial Political Discourse’, Discourse & Society, 2001, 12, 4, 451–72.

33. Cornelia Ilie, ‘Discourse and Metadiscourse in Parliamentary Debates’, Journal of Language and Politics, 2003, 2, 71–92.

34. Kevin McKenzie, ‘The Institutional Provision for Silence: On the Evasive Nature of Politicians’ Answers to Reporters’ Questions’, Journal of Language and Politics, 2005, 4, 443–63.

35. Anita Fetzer and Marjut Johansson, ‘"I’ll Tell You What the Truth Is": The Interactional Organization of Confiding in Political Interviews’, Journal of Language and Politics, 2007, 6, 147–77.

Part 6: Ideology in Political Discourse

36. J. Gastil, ‘Undemocratic Discourse: A Review of Theory and Research on Political Discourse’, Discourse & Society, 1992, 3, 4, 469–500.

37. Cyril Morong, ‘Mythology, Ideology and Politics’ (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, Paris, July 1994) (24 pp.)

38. Teun A. Van Dijk, ‘Political Discourse and Ideology’, in Clara Ubaldina Lorda and Montserrat Ribas (eds.), Anàlisi del discurs polític (IULA, 2000), pp. 15–34.

39. P. Dunmire, ‘Preempting the Future: Rhetoric and Ideology of the Future in Political Discourse’, Discourse & Society, 2005, 16, 4, 481–513.

Volume III

Part 7: Marxist Views of Language

40. V. N. Voloshinov, ‘The Study of Ideologies and Philosophy of Language’ [1929], Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans. Ladislav Matejka and I. R. Titunik (Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 9–15.

41. V. N. Voloshinov, ‘Concerning the Relationship of the Basis and the Superstructure’ [1929], Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans. Ladislav Matejka and I. R. Titunik (Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 17–24.

42. V. N. Voloshinov, ‘Exposition and the Problem of Reported Speech’ [1929], Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans. Ladislav Matejka and I. R. Titunik (Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 115–23.

43. Antonio Gramsci, ‘Notes on Language’, Telos, 1984, 59, 127–50.

44. Joseph Stalin, ‘Marxism and Problems of Linguistics’, Pravda, 20 June 1950.

45. M. Miller, ‘Marr, Stalin and the Theory of Language’, Soviet Studies, 1951, 2, 4, 364–71.

46. Herbert Rubenstein, ‘The Recent Conflict in Soviet Linguistics’, Language, 1951, 27, 3, 281–7.

47. Peter Ives, ‘Language, Agency and Hegemony: A Gramscian Response to Post-Marxism’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 2005, 8, 4, 455–68.

48. Ernesto Laclau, ‘Ideology and Post-Marxism’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 2006, 11, 2, 103–14.

Part 8: Performativity and Identity

49. Jürgen Habermas, ‘Social Action, Purposive Activity, and Communication’ [1981], The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 1, trans. Thomas McCarthy (Polity Press, 1984), pp. 273–337.

50. Charles Taylor, ‘The Politics of Recognition’, Multiculturalism (Princeton University Press, 1992), pp. 25–73.

51. Rae Langton, ‘Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1993, 22, 4, 293–330.

52. Judith Butler, ‘Sovereign Performatives in the Contemporary Scene of Utterance’, Critical Inquiry, 1997, 23, 2, 350–77.

Part 9: Language and the Structure of Society

53. Michel Foucault, ‘The Order of Discourse’, in Robert Young (ed.), Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981), pp. 48–78.

54. Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Forms of Capital’, in John Richardson (ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 241–58.

55. Teun A. van Dijk, ‘Elite Discourse and the Reproduction of Racism’, in Rita Kirk Whillock and David Slayden (eds.), Hate Speech (Sage, 1995), pp. 1–27.

56. Will Kymlicka, ‘Minority Nationalism and Immigrant Integration’, Politics in the Vernacular (Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 275–89.

Volume IV

Part 10: Language Choice and Language Policy

57. Joseph Bisong, ‘Language Choice and Cultural Imperialism: A Nigerian Perspective’, ELT Journal, 1995, 49, 122–32.

58. Kanavillil Rajagopalan, ‘Of EFL Teachers, Conscience, and Cowardice’, ELT Journal, 1999, 53, 3, 200–6.

59. Kanavillil Rajagopalan, ‘Reply to Canagarajah’, ELT Journal, 1999, 53, 3, 215–16.

60. A. Suresh Canagarajah, ‘On EFL Teachers, Awareness, and Agency’, ELT Journal, 1999, 53, 3, 207–14.

61. Stephen May, ‘Uncommon Languages: The Challenges and Possibilities of Minority Language Rights’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2000, 21, 5, 365–85.

62. Christopher Stroud, ‘African Mother-Tongue Programmes and the Politics of Language: Linguistic Citizenship Versus Linguistic Human Rights’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2001, 22, 4, 339–55.

63. Alan Patten, ‘Liberal Neutrality and Language Policy’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2003, 31, 4, 356–86.

64. Peter Ives, ‘"Global English": Linguistic Imperialism or Practical Lingua Franca?’, Studies in Language and Capitalism, 2006, 1, 121–41.

Part 11: Politics in Language

65. George Orwell, ‘Politics and the English Language’, Horizon, 1946, 13, 76, 252–65.

66. Roger Brown and Albert C. Gilman (1960), ‘The Pronouns of Power and Solidarity’, in Thomas A. Sebeok (ed.), Style in Language (MIT Press, 1960), pp. 253–76.

67. Gary A. Olson and Lester Faigley, ‘Language, Politics, and Composition: A Conversation with Noam Chomsky’, JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, 1991, 11, 1, 1–35.

68. Patti Lather, ‘Troubling Clarity: The Politics of Accessible Language’, Harvard Educational Review, 1996, 66, 3, 525–45.

69. Robin T. Lakoff, ‘The Neutrality of the Status Quo’, The Language War (University of California Press, 2000), pp. 42–85.

Part 12: ‘Critical’ (Applied) Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis

70. Roger Fowler, ‘Notes on Critical Linguistics’, in Ross Steele and Terry Threadgold (eds.), Language Topics: Essays in Honour of Michael Halliday, Vol. 2 (John Benjamins, 1987), pp. 481–92.

71. Gunther Kress, ‘Against Arbitrariness: The Social Production of the Sign as a Foundational Issue in Critical Discourse Analysis’, Discourse & Society, 1993, 4, 2, 169–91.

72. Anne Curzan, ‘Teaching the Politics of Standard English’, Journal of English Linguistics, 2002, 30, 4, 339–52.

73. Norman Fairclough, ‘"Political Correctness": The Politics of Culture and Language’, Discourse & Society, 2003, 14, 1, 17–28.

74. Kanavillil Rajagopalan, ‘Emotion and Language Politics: The Brazilian Case’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2004, 25, 2–3, 105–23.

75. Sinfree Makoni and Alastair Pennycook, ‘Disinventing and (Re)constituting Languages’, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 2005, 2, 3, 137–56.

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