1st Edition

Language in Late Capitalism Pride and Profit

Edited By Alexandre Duchêne, Monica Heller Copyright 2012
    280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the ways in which our ideas about language and identity which used to be framed in national and political terms as a matter of rights and citizenship are increasingly recast in economic terms as a matter of added value. It argues that this discursive shift is connected to specific characteristics of the globalized new economy in what can be thought of as "late capitalism". Through ten ethnographic case studies, it demonstrates the complex ways in which older nationalist ideologies which invest language with value as a source of pride get bound up with newer neoliberal ideologies which invest language with value as a source of profit. The complex interaction between these modes of mobilizing linguistic resources challenges some of our ideas about globalization, hinting that we are in a period of intensification of modernity, in which the limits of the nation-State are stretched, but not (yet) undone. At the same time, this book argues, this intensification also calls into question modernist ways of looking at language and identity, requiring a more serious engagement with capitalism and how it constitutes symbolic (including linguistic) as well as material markets.

    1. Pride and profit: changing discourses of language, capital and nation-state Monica Heller and Alexandre Duchêne 2. Sociolinguistics regimes and the management of "diversity" Susan Gal  3. Commodification of pride and resistance to profit: language practices as terrain of struggle in a Swiss football stadium Alfonso Del Percio and Alexandre Duchêne  4. "Total Quality Language Revival" Jacqueline Urla  5. Literary tourism: new appropriations of landscape and territory in Catalonia Joan Pujolar and Kathryn Jones  6. Pride, profit and distinction: negotiations across time and space in community language education Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese  7. War, peace and languages in the Canadian Navy Michelle Daveluy  8. Frontiers and Frenchness: pride and profit in the production of Canada Monica Heller and Lindsay Bell  9. The making of "workers of the world": language and the labor brokerage state Beatriz P. Lorente  10. Language workers: emblematic figures of late capitalism Josiane Boutet  11. Silicon Valley sociolinguistics? Analyzing language, gender and communities of practice in the new knowledge economy Bonnie McElhinny


    Alexandre Duchêne is Professor of Sociology of language and Director of the Institute of Multilingualism of the University and HEP of Fribourg (Switzerland). His recent publications include Ideologies across Nations (Mouton de Gruyter 2008) and Discourses of Endangerment (with Monica Heller, Continuum 2007).

    Monica Heller is professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her most recent book is Paths to Postnationalism: A Critical Ethnography of Language and Identity (2011, Oxford University Press).

    'The authors effectively demonstrate the immensely complex nature of how 'pride' and 'profit' function, and also reveal how richly and powerfully pervasive these tropes are.' - LINGUIST List

    'Overall, Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit, a fitting volume in the Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism series, is a fascinating and insightful contribution to the field. Each of the contributors successfully illustrates the complex nature of ‘pride’ and ‘profit’ tropes in late capitalism, giving the volume as a whole a number of strengths. It illustrates how interdisciplinary research studies have the potential to lead to important findings and novel observations. Additionally, the wide range of methodologies on which the contributions are based adds to the depth and breadth of the analyses provided. Also, while sticking to the general theme of the volume, each contributor’s argument is genuinely original. This has resulted in a range of fresh ideas for future research.' - Vahid Parvaresh, University of Isfahan, Iran