Markets, Power and Language

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 5:30 PM-7:20 PM
Room: Booth 62
RC25 Language and Society (host committee)

Language: English

Globalization has intensified both the internationalization of workplaces and increasing demands for information. The increasing importance of information and information technologies has meant that language has a central role in economy, while increasing internationalization makes the management of linguistic diversity a top priority. All of this takes place within the context of dramatic changes in immigration policies and labor organization. An increasing number of agents, such US multinational companies and transnational political elites (i.e. European Commission), are contributing to new language policies aimed at language hegemonies within specific markets or specific social contexts. The widespread use of English in specific markets (science, business, technologies) can be understood as a part of this new hegemony, which serves the particular interests of dominant groups on global scale. The presence of new actors and their language policies require that we revisit Bourdieu’s assumptions regarding the presence of a State-based unified marketplace for language. At the same time, this new context also directs us consider Bourdieu`s approach to the ways that people who are ‘legitimate language’ agents can exercise their social competence, their social power, and can impose their authority. Depending on the market and the relations of power, the same discourse may produce different effects (profit/price) depending on the degree of legitimacy that the speaker has on the market. From the perspective of linguistic diversity, in a context of extended diglossia, language learning and language choice becomes crucial to have success in a context of competence for resources. In this session we seek papers that explore the relationships among language diversity and workplace practices in both public and private organizations.
Session Organizer:
Laura GARCIA LANDA, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Laura GARCIA LANDA, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Language Diversity at Work: Guidelines to an Interdisciplinary Approach (Oral Presentation)
María Guadalupe GONZALEZ TREJO, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Questioning the Promise of English: Language Choice of Japanese Transnational Workers in Asia (Oral Presentation)
Ryuko KUBOTA, University of British Columbia, Canada

Language, Informational Capitalism and Industrial Relations. a Study on Linguistic Autonomy of Workers and Collective Bargaining (Oral Presentation)
Amado ALARCON, Universidad Rovira i Virgili, Spain; Maria MARTÍNEZ-IGLESIAS, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain