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Book Review

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TESOL Quarterly





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As Block writes in the prologue and the epilogue, the book is primarily about erasure; his motivation for writing the book is to highlight “the substantial and sometimes complete erasure of social class in applied linguistics research due to the ways in which applied linguists frame their discussions of issues such as identity, inequality, disadvantage and exclusion” (pp. ix–x). Overall, Block achieves his goal of illustrating the widespread absence of social class in applied linguistics; however, the book itself makes some missteps in exploring the very construct it claims as its focus.

The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 is an exploration of how Block understands class: his formative years in Texas, the rise of neoliberalism in the global marketplace, and political economy and critical realism. There are two main reasons for this chapter: (1) to describe Block's own experience living in an environment that includes working class and poor people, and (2) to demonstrate his credentials for writing a book on social class.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bramlett, Frank. 2015. Review of David Block. 2013. Social class in applied linguistics. New York: Routledge. In TESOL Quarterly. 49(1). 214-217., which has been published in final form at: This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.