Language and Social Justice in Practice  book cover
1st Edition

Language and Social Justice in Practice

ISBN 9781138069459
Published December 14, 2018 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

From bilingual education and racial epithets to gendered pronouns and immigration discourses, language is a central concern in contemporary conversations and controversies surrounding social inequality. Developed as a collaborative effort by members of the American Anthropological Association’s Language and Social Justice Task Force, this innovative volume synthesizes scholarly insights on the relationship between patterns of communication and the creation of more just societies. Using case studies by leading and emergent scholars and practitioners written especially for undergraduate audiences, the book is ideal for introductory courses on social justice in linguistics and anthropology.

Table of Contents

Language and Social Justice in Practice

Editors: Netta Avineri, Laura R. Graham, Eric J. Johnson, Robin Conley Riner, Jonathan Rosa

Table of Contents


Introduction: Reimagining Language and Social Justice
By Netta Avineri, Laura R. Graham, Eric J. Johnson, Robin Conley Riner, Jonathan Rosa

Section I: Language & Race

Section Introduction and Critical Questions

Chapter 1: “Never Tell Me How to Say It”: Race, Language Ideologies, and Harm Reduction in Secondary English Classrooms
By Julia Daniels
Chapter 2: Identifying “Racists” While Ignoring Racism: The Case of the Alleged Slur on George Zimmerman’s 911 Tape
By Adam Hodges
Chapter 3: Contesting Representations of Migrant “Illegality” through the Drop the I-Word Campaign: Rethinking Language Change and Social Change

By Jonathan Rosa
Chapter 4: Communicating and Contesting Islamophobia
By Mariam Durrani
Chapter 5: Languages of Liberation: Digital Discourses of Emphatic Blackness
By Krystal Smalls

Section II: Language & Education

Section Introduction and Critical Questions

Chapter 6: Issues of Equity in Dual Language Bilingual Education
By Kathryn Henderson, Lina Martín-Corredor, & Genevieve Caffrey

Chapter 7: Colorado’s READ Act: A Case Study in Policy Advocacy against Monolingual Normativity
By Kara Mitchell Viesca & Luis Poza
Chapter 8: Dual Language Education as a State Equity Strategy
By Kathryn Lindholm-Leary, Martha Martinez, & Rosa Molina

Chapter 9: Ubuntu Translanguaging and Social Justice: Negotiating Power and Identity through Multilingual Education in Tanzania
By Monica Shank
Chapter 10:
A Critical Interrogation of the “Language Gap”
By Eric Johnson

Section III: Language and Health

Section Introduction and Critical Questions

Chapter 11: Language, Justice, and Rabies: Notes from a Fatal Crossroads
By Charles Briggs
Chapter 12: Ethics, Expertise, and Inequities in Global Health Discourses: The Case of Non-Profit HIV/AIDS Research in South Africa
By Steven Black

Chapter 13: Interpreting Deaf HIV/AIDS: A Dialogue
By Mark Byrd & Leila Monaghan

Chapter 14: Language as Health: Healing in Indigenous Communities in Guatemala through the Revitalization of Mayan Languages
By David Flood, Anita Chary, Peter Rohloff, & Brent Henderson

Section IV: Language & Social Activism

Section Introduction and Critical Questions

Chapter 15: Mascots, Name Calling, and Racial Slurs: Seeking Social Justice through Audience Coalescence
By Netta Avineri & Bernard Perley

Chapter 16: The Language of Activism: Representations of Social Justice in a University Space in Argentina
By Suriati Abas & James Damico
Chapter 17: California Latinx Youth as Agents of Sociolinguistic Justice
By Mary Bucholtz, Dolores Inés Casillas, & Jin Sook Lee
Chapter 18: Pronouns and Possibilities: Transgender Language Activism and Reform
By Lal Zimman

Chapter 19: (De)Occupying Language
H. Samy Alim

Section V: Language, Law, & Policy

Section Introduction and Critical Questions

Chapter 20: A’uwẽ-Xavante Represent: Rights and Resistance in Native Language Signage on Brazil’s Federal Highways
By Laura R. Graham

Chapter 21: The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights
By Joyce Milambiling

Chapter 22: “Linguistically Isolated”: Challenging the U.S. Census Bureau’s Harmful Classification
By Ana Celia Zentella
Chapter 23: Immigrants Facing Linguistic Barriers in the U.S. Justice System: Case Studies from North Carolina
By Dominika Baran & Quinn Holmquist
Chapter 24: Communicating Humanity: How Defense Attorneys Use Mitigation Narratives to Advocate for Clients
By Robin Conley Riner & Elizabeth Vartkessian

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Netta Avineri is Associate Professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages/Teaching Foreign Language (TESOL/TFL) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Laura R. Graham is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iowa. She served as Chair of the American Anthropological Association’s Committee on Human Rights and is founding Chair of the Association’s Committee on Language and Social Justice.

Eric J. Johnson is Associate Professor of Bilingual/ESL Education at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Robin Conley Riner is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Marshall University.

Jonathan Rosa is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and, by courtesy, Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics, at Stanford University.


"Finally a book that squarely calls language for what it is––a crucial form of social action. Revolutionary in its approach to language, as well as the ways in which scholarship is developed collaboratively, this book forges new paths for language studies. In providing us with a lens that links language to race discourse, education, health, social activism, and law, the book shows how language operates to limit equitable participation and how it can be used to radically reimagine a world with social justice."

Ofelia García, The City University of New York, USA

"Language and Social Justice in Practice is an inspired collective rebuttal to those—academics and other citizens alike—who would erase or minimize the crucial role of language and communicative practices—in reproducing structural violence and promoting social injustice. In twenty-four hard-hitting chapters, these authors challenge hegemonic concepts and practices like "the language gap," "illegal migrants," "linguistically isolated" families, linguistic colonization, and racial slurs repackaged as Native American mascots. These engaged and activist scholars brightly illuminate a path for transforming academic knowledge about language into political action and social justice.

Paul V. Kroskrity, University of California, USA."