Discourse and Power in a Multilingual World
In Discourse and Power in a Multilingual World the discourse of politicians and policy-makers in Britain links languages other than English, and therefore speakers of these languages, with civil disorder and threats to democracy, citizenship and nationhood. These powerful arguments travel along ‘chains of discourse’ until they gain the legitimacy of the state, and are inscribed in law. The particular focus of this volume is on discourse linking ‘race riots’ in England in 2001 with the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which extended legislation to test the English language proficiency of British citizenship applicants.
Adrian Blackledge develops a theoretical and methodological framework which draws on critical discourse analysis to reveal the linguistic character of social and cultural processes and structures; on Bakhtin’s notion of the dialogic nature of discourse to demonstrate how voices progressively gain authority; and on Bourdieu’s model of symbolic domination to illuminate the way in which linguistic-minority speakers may be complicit in the misrecognition, or valorisation, of the dominant language.