Evaluating Languages

  • Minglang ZhouEmail author


This chapter translates Bourdieu’s linguistic capital, market, and habitus into linguistic repertoire, domains, and sociocultural knowledge of language use in sociolinguistic terms. It elaborates on two value orientations, the material and the spiritual, and two orientations of attitudes, the instrumental and the integrative. Treating these orientations as components of language ideology, this chapter studies how they shape the learning and use of English as a foreign language and of varieties of Chinese as the mother tongue. It further examines how value orientations are related to subjective ethnolinguistic vitality in the maintenance of minority languages. It critiques China’s explicit material association of minority languages with poverty in contrast to the state’s spiritual connection of Putonghua with the Chinese citizenship and material link of Putonghua to wealth.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Maryland College ParkCollege ParkUSA

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