The Politics of English
- Marnie Holborow - Dublin City University, Ireland
This book offers a major reappraisal of the role of language in the social world. Focusing on three main areas - the global spread of English; Standard English; and language and sexism - The Politics of English: examines World English in relation to international capitalism and colonialism; analyzes the ideological underpinnings of the debate about Standard English; and locates sexism in language as arising from social relations. Locating itself in the classical Marxist tradition, this book shows how language is both shaped by, and contributes to social life.
`The outstanding virture of this book is that whatever expectations one brings to it are likely to be confounded. Blissfully free of dogmatic jargon that once made ideological tracts such hard slogging, it opens with an introductory chapter sounding the contemporary Marxist call to arms against, not capitalism, but post-structuralism' - Journal of Sociolinguistics
`A very welcome and much-needed broadening of current theoretical perspectives' - Professor Norman Fairclough
`Anyone studying history, sociology, literature, education, politics or linguistics will come across as a teacher who asks you to consider one version or another of the axiom that reality is made by language. The core of this book is a sustained attack on this view. Starting out from Marx, in particular with ideas best expressed in The German Ideology, Marnie Holborow goes on to use the works of the first and best-known Marxist linguists: Voloshinov and Vygotsky. Her main areas of concern are the relationship between language and social existence; whether English is becoming a world language; is there such a thing as female language; and what is standard English?' - Socialist Review
`This book provides a much-needed reaffirmation of the validity of a Marxist approach to linguistics. This book will prove a key resource to students having to grapple with the morass of postmodernist thought. It will also be of use and interest to a wider readership, eg teachers and parents who want to put the highly politicised debates about language into a wider context' - Bookmarks