The Sociolinguistics of Globalization

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Human language has changed in the age of globalization: no longer tied to stable and resident communities, it moves across the globe, and it changes in the process. The world has become a complex 'web' of villages, towns, neighbourhoods and settlements connected by material and symbolic ties in often unpredictable ways. This phenomenon requires us to revise our understanding of linguistic communication. In The Sociolinguistics of Globalization, Jan Blommaert constructs a theory of changing language in a changing society, reconsidering locality, repertoires, competence, history and sociolinguistics inequality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Theoretically bold, clearly written, and politically engaged. The arguments are illustrated with a host of ingenious examples, drawn from many parts of the world.' James Collins, University at Albany, State University of New York

'We need a new sociolinguistics in the era of globalization. Jan Blommaert leads the way in developing the critical perspectives we now need to understand the global mobility of people and discourses, and new global sociolinguistic inequalities. His book is provocative, transformative and inspiring.' Nikolas Coupland, Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University

'[The] Sociolinguistics of Globalization is a wonderful addition to the changing field of sociolinguistics, and a must for any serious student of sociolinguistics. It should be clear that the research methodology presented therein is inspiring, and the need for further application is apparent.' The Linguist List

'Although it is a fairly slim book, it is packed with illustrative material from a wide range of sources.' David Deterding, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

'… this book is very inspiring and thought-provoking, and forces the readers to think and to relate to language with social reality.' Jingyang Jiang, Language Problems & Language Planning

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521710237
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2010
  • Series: Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Blommaert is Professor of Linguistic Anthropology in the Department of Language and Culture Studies at Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Series editor's foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xvi

1 A critical sociolinguistics of globalization 1

1.1 The challenge 1

1.2 Two paradigms 4

1.3 Globalization, super-diversity and multilingualism 6

1.4 The start of a tradition 13

1.5 The challenge again 20

2 A messy new marketplace 28

2.1 Nina's derrière 29

2.2 Sociolinguistic scales 32

2.3 Orders of indexicality 37

2.4 Polycentricity 39

2.5 A sociolinguistics of mobile resources 41

2.6 Selling accent 47

2.7 Conclusion 61

3 Locality, the periphery and images of the world 63

3.3 Writing locality: a globalized Tanzanian novel 64

3.2 Locality and the periphery 78

3.3 The norms of the periphery 80

3.4 Images from the periphery 101

4 Repertoires and competence 102

4.1 Truncated repertoires 103

4.2 Globalized genres of fraud 106

4.3 A world of resources 133

5 Language, globalization and history 137

5.1 Historical concepts 137

5.2 The worlds of golf 140

5.3 Long and short histories 144

5.4 The chaotic shop 148

5.5 Conclusion 151

6 Old and new inequalities 153

6.1 Globalization, the state and inequality 153

6.2 Language, asylum and the national order 154

6.3 Mainstreaming the migrant learner l73

6.4 The end of the state and inequality? 178

7 Reflections 180

7.1 Sketch of a road map 180

7.2 English in the periphery: imperialism revisited 182

7.3 Conclusions 196

Notes 199

References 202

Index 209

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