Unity in disunity

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
This Chapter is currently unavailable for purchase.

This chapter takes as a point of departure the website of the &#8220;Voices&#8221; project, a large media enterprise on languages in the UK conducted by the BBC in 2003&#8211;2005. With the help of the notions of language ideology and the analytical tools of multimodal critical discourse analysis, the paper shows how representations of languages on the website are a discursive terrain on which negotiations of national identities are played out. Essentially, the argument is that there is a constant tension between <i>centripetal</i> (unifying) and <i>centrifugal</i> (particularising) forces which strive for the production of different, concomitant and often conflicting national identities. Whereas the BBC seeks to represent the UK as a happy and unified multilingual nation, the many postings on the website show how multilingualism is not always perceived by speakers as a happy and unproblematic phenomenon, but is a politically-fraught issue that creates strong disagreements about the values of different languages in British society as well as their functions as markers of different national identities.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address