Sociolinguistic ethnographies of globalisation

Authored by: Alexandra Grey , Ingrid Piller

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Ethnography

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138938168
eBook ISBN: 9781315675824
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the multiple linguistic aspects of globalisation. It identifies several key issues in relation to language and globalisation, including the historical emergence of lingua francas and the erasure of diversity in the context of imperial expansion; the discursive nature of the construction of globalisation and linguistic hierarchies; and language work and the commodification of language in an interconnected world. Each issue is illustrated with ethnographic case studies, focussing on Chinese and other Asian studies, showing the value of ethnography in the study of language and globalisation. The key role of digital communications technologies in enabling global communication is addressed. Future directions are identified which are particularly suited to ethnographic research in this area, including exploring further the emic dimensions of globalisation, and challenging Standard English-centric universalising approaches to language and globalisation research.

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