Nationalism, Identity and Popular Culture

Multilingual Matters
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Sociolinguistics and Language Education, 2010, 1, pp. 62 - 86
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A central problem for sociolinguistic approaches to language is nationhood. Being the defining framework for much discussion of both language and culture in popular and academic domains, the concept of nation has had a huge influence on the ways in which languages and cultures have been defined. From language policies based around national languages to plans to save endangered languages, the relation between nation, on the one hand, and language and culture, on the other, has remained central to many discussions of these themes. In response to the perceived threat of English in Europe, namely the concern that unless English is opposed, we may, as Phillipson (2003: 192) warns, 'be heading for an American-English only Europe', one strategy is to argue for the need to safeguard diversity through the support of other European languages.
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