Markets of English
Linguistic Capital and Language Policy in a Globalizing World
Routledge – 2012 – 216 pages
The global spread of English both reproduces and reinforces oppressive structures of inequality. But such structures can no longer be seen as imposed from an imperial center, as English is now actively adopted and appropriated in local contexts around the world. This book argues that such conditions call for a new critique of global English, one that is sensitive to both the political economic conditions of globalization and speakers’ local practices.
Linking Bourdieu’s theory of the linguistic market and his practice-based perspective with recent advances in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, this book offers a fresh new critique of global English. The authors highlight the material, discursive, and semiotic processes through which the value of English in the linguistic market is constructed, and suggest possible policy interventions that may be adopted to address the problems of global English. Through its serious engagement with current sociolinguistic theory and insightful analysis of the multiple dimensions of English in the world, this book challenges the readers to think about what we need to do to confront the social inequalities that are perpetuated by the global spread of English
1. Introduction 2. The Three Circles Model: A Market-Theoretic Perspective 3. Performativity and Appropriation: English in Autonomous and Unified Markets 4. Is There a Market for English as a Lingua Franca? 5. English as Commodity: The Ideological Bases of Supply and Demand 6. English as Capital: The Logic of Conversion 7. Managing the Linguistic Market: Possible Policy Responses 8. Conclusion
Joseph Park is an assistant professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at the National University of Singapore. Lionel Wee is an associate professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at the National University of Singapore.