Linguistic Minorities and Modernity: A Sociolinguistic Ethnography

Monica Heller

Published by Pearson ESL, 1999
ISBN 10: 0582279488 / ISBN 13: 9780582279483
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Synopsis: Linguistic Minorities and Modernity is a sociolinguistic ethnographic study of linguistic minorities and social change. The book contributes to the analysis of the impact of social change on relations of power and identity, and on the role of education in helping to maintain or change those relations. Focusing on the politics of language and identity in a French-language minority school in Ontario, Canada, it reveals the transformation of the francophone minority community under the new social, economic and political conditions accompanying globalization, a process shared by minorities in multilingual contexts world-wide. Through a careful examination of language practices in daily life at school, Monica Heller shows how the interaction order is linked to the institutional order, which is itself linked to shifting ideologies of language, identity and nationhood. The expansion of corporate capitalism, migration, the changing role of the State, all contribute to these shifts. The previous emphasis on authentic, homogenous nations gives way to a new vision of pluralism and global networks where language becomes more a commodity than a symbol of identity. This change reorganizes relations of power and solidarity. It also creates avenues of socio-economic advancement while calling into question the legitimacy of rights and institutions without which the current changes would be impossible. The book is written in an accessible, lively narrative style, employing real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the discussions, and is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics and multilingual education, as well as for professionals involved in educational, ethnolinguistic minority, immigration and language planning agencies.

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Real Language Series
General Editors:
Jennifer Coates, Roehampton Institute, London,
Jenny Cheshire, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London and
Euan Reid, Institute of Education, University of London

This is a sociolinguistic series about the relationships between language, society and social change. Books in the series draw on natural language data from a wide range of social contexts. The series takes a critical approach to the subject, challenging current orthodoxies, and dealing with familiar topics in new ways.

Linguistic Minorities and Modernity is a sociolinguistic ethnographic study of linguistic minorities and social change. The book contributes to the analysis of the impact of social change on relations of power and identity, and on the role of education in helping to maintain or change those relations. Focusing on the politics of language and identity in a French-language minority school in Ontario, Canada, it reveals the transformation of the francophone minority community under the new social, economic and political conditions accompanying globalization, a process shared by minorities in multilingual contexts world-wide.

Through a careful examination of language practices in daily life at school, Monica Heller shows how the interaction order is linked to the institutional order, which is itself linked to shifting ideologies of language, identity and nationhood. The expansion of corporate capitalism, migration, the changing role of the State, all contribute to these shifts. The previous emphasis on authentic, homogenous nations gives way to a new vision of pluralism and global networks where language becomes more a commodity than a symbol of identity. This change reorganizes relations of power and solidarity. It also creates avenues of socio-economic advancement while calling into question the legitimacy of rights and institutions without which the current changes would be impossible.

The book is written in an accessible, lively narrative style, employing real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the discussions, and is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics and multilingual education, as well as for professionals involved in educational, ethnolinguistic minority, immigration and language planning agencies.

Monica Heller is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education and the Centre de recherches en éducation franco-ontarienne at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the University of Toronto, Canada.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Linguistic Minorities and Modernity: A ...
Publisher: Pearson ESL
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New

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