© 2008

Language Policy and Nation-Building in Post-Apartheid South Africa


Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 10)

About this book


The urgent need to forge an inclusive, multi-racial, multicultural South African national identity has been one of the most dominant themes in post-Apartheid politics and society. With the realisation that many of the social problems which beset contemporary South African society are sociolinguistic in origin, the critical importance of language policy and planning for democratic ‘nation-building’ becomes evident. This book adopts a rigorous theoretical approach to the study of language policy and national identity, both in a general sense and with specific application to the sociolinguistic situation in South Africa. It also includes an entire chapter devoted to the issue of the status and role of Afrikaans in the post-apartheid era. Employing a strictly multi-disciplinary approach, the book draws on insights from a number of academic disciplines including sociolinguistics, the sociology of language, sociology, social psychology, political theory and social anthropology.

The book will be of considerable interest to a wide range of academic theorists and students whose work is either specifically concerned with, or touches upon, issues of language policy and national identity, as well as language planners and policymakers, language pedagogists and educational organisations, both within South Africa and beyond.


Afrika education identity multi-racial multicultural sociolinguistic sociology of language

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Austria

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"Orman’s book constitutes an important contribution to the field. It both raises questions of concern to anyone interested in language planning and language policy studies, and provides an outstanding overview of the complex and paradoxical South African situation." (Timothy Reagan, Language Problems & Language Planning, 33:3,2009)

“This volume is part of a series aimed at scholars … as well as educational and applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. … provides an overview of the relationship between national identity and language, illustrating how this has manifested itself in the new South Africa. … It will be of interest especially to those involved in language planning and policy, but also those interested in the interplay of identity and language in multilingual societies, and finally to anyone interested in the linguistic future of this country.” (Kirsten Colquhoun, Linguist List, December, 2009)