Language Policy or the Politics of Language: Re-imaging the Role of Language in a Neoliberal Society


Language Policy or the Politics of Language: Re-imaging the Role of Language in a Neoliberal Society

Author ORCID Identifier

Djuraeva -



This book is designed for a wide audience of readers looking to learn about the ways globalization and neoliberalism affect language policy and education among social and linguistic groups in various corners of the world. In addition to learning about new approaches to studying people’s experiences at the nexus of language and neoliberalism, readers will also learn more about the linguistic rights of relatively understudied communities such as Native Americans in the U.S., Azerbaijanis in Iran, Tatars in Russia, Kurds in Turkey, and Uyghurs in China. Moreover, the audience will find useful perspectives on multilingual and foreign language education in South Korea, China, U.S. and Spain presented through the various lenses, one of which is translanguaging. Finally, readers will be pleasantly surprised by the theoretical and methodological discussions around discursive practices of American immigrant communities with regards to language and neoliberalism.

In addition to ruling the market, the expansion of Neoliberalism has proven successful at shifting and shaping people's values. One obvious example is the individual's education path, which has been subject to a variety of external forces in recent decades. With the rise of the nation-states and the spread of English, the right to choose is no longer an option but a necessity for many around the world. Language Policy or the Politics of Language presents diverse experiences of different speech communities around the world to re-visit the changing role of language in the society characterized by neoliberal values.

This volume, Language Policy or the Politics of Language: Re-imagining the Role of Language in a Neoliberal Society, illustrates how neoliberal ideals interact with the national values and how those interactions shape people's life trajectories in relation to their language rights and language education experiences. This volume brings together various theoretical approaches to examine a breadth of material found at the nexus of neoliberalism and language, in turn depicting the larger culture of language policy and politics of language. It stands out as a unique source for both educators and learners due to its diverse range of topics, its theoretical and empirical studies, and its interdisciplinary approaches in discussing the role of language in a neoliberal society. Language Policy or the Politics of Language further stands out given its global approach in discussing the subject matter. In addition to discussing the reification of the English language, it introduces to the reader discussions about languages and language communities that have not been carefully observed in other scholarship yet.

This volume is timely in that it advances current understanding of the factors that influence the relationship between dominant and minority languages and their speakers in different corners of the world. The volume starts with an introduction that guides the reader through influential ideas produced on the role of language and how they have changed over time. Following this, the volume is divided into four parts which touch upon different aspects of language and their impact on people's lives. Part I shows that in addition to a language's low sociocultural and economic value, the potential threat of a language to national security and unity can be another factor leading to deprivation of linguistic rights. Part II discusses foreign language education policies that tend to create unequal access for minority groups. The chapters in this part present analyses of empirical data and curriculum developments programs in East Asian countries, such as South Korea and China. More empirical data are presented in Part II, which presents three different learning contexts--bilingual education, English as a foreign language, Spanish as a foreign language--through a discussion of language learning experiences of multilinguals in the United States and Spain. This section shows that challenges faced by learners are quite similar despite the ocean separating the two locations. It moves current thought around multilingualism and education forward by employing original theoretical lenses in addressing the subject matter. The final part of this volume discusses the role of language through discursive lenses, where a combination of theoretical and empirical discussions provide a deeper understanding of the power of language and discourse in making a difference in individuals' daily lives. The volume ends with renewed calls to take a bold stand against the impacts of fabricated perceptions such as language status, linguistic hegemony, so-called homogeneity of "good" language, lingua franca, language wars and linguistic globalization.



Publication Date



Deep University Press


University of Nebraska at Omaha's Dr. Madina Djuraeva is the editor of the book and co-wrote the Introduction.

Language Policy or the Politics of Language: Re-imaging the Role of Language in a Neoliberal Society