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Linguistic Minorities and Modernity: A Sociolinguistic Ethnography, Second Edition (Advances in Sociolinguistics)

Monica Heller

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ISBN 10: 0826486908 / ISBN 13: 9780826486905
Published by Continuum, 2007
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Linguistic Minorities and Modernity: A ...

Publisher: Continuum

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Edition: 2.

About this title

Synopsis:

The subject of this book is linguistic minorities, and how language is used by speakers of languages which are not the main language of communication. This is a core topic for sociolinguists, who examine how language is actually used within a given context. Globalization, migration, and the erosion of nationhood is creating far more linguistic minorities as society becomes increasingly pluralistic. One of the major sites of contact between languages is the school, and this book focuses on linguistic interaction within this educational context. Through a careful examination of the language practices in the daily life of a school, Monica Heller explores issues such as changing language policy, bilingualism, identity, power, ideology and gender from the point of view of the minority speaker. In so doing she provdies a fresh new insight into this important area of sociolinguistics. Linguistic Minorities and Modernity is written in an accessible and lively narrative style, and uses real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the discussions. The text has been revised throughout, and includes a new introduction by the author. The book is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.

From the Back Cover:

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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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