Discursive Approaches to Language Policy

  • Elisabeth Barakos
  • Johann W. Unger

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Theoretical Foundations

  3. Methodological Innovations

  4. Empirical Applications

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 287-299

About this book


This book brings together the fields of language policy and discourse studies from a multidisciplinary theoretical, methodological and empirical perspective. The chapters in this volume are written by international scholars active in the field of language policy and planning and discourse studies. The diverse research contexts range from education in Paraguay and Luxembourg via businesses in Wales to regional English language policies in Tajikistan. Readers are thereby invited to think critically about the mutual relationship between language policy and discourse in a range of social, political, economic and cultural spheres. Using approaches that draw on discourse-analytic, anthropological, ethnographic and critical sociolinguistic frameworks, the contributors in this collection explore and refine the ‘discursive’ and the ‘critical’ aspects of language policy as a multilayered, fluid, ideological, discursive and social process that can operate as a tool of social change as well as reinforcing established power structures and inequalities.

Elisabeth Barakos is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. Her research interests focus on language policy discourse and practice, multilingualism and language in the workplace from a critical sociolinguistic perspective.

Johann W. Unger is a Lecturer and Academic Director of Summer Programmes at Lancaster University. He researches mainly in the areas of language policy and digitally mediated politics from a critical discourse studies perspective. His 2013 monograph The Discursive Construction of the Scots Language deals extensively with language policy.


language planning discourse analysis critical discourse studies ethnographic framework social change power structures discourse history language policy linguistics policy sociolinguistics

Editors and affiliations

  • Elisabeth Barakos
    • 1
  • Johann W. Unger
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Languages and Social SciencesAston UniversityBirminghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of Linguistics and English LanguageLancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-53133-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-53134-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site