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South Korea’s Developmentalist Language Policies: Linguistic Territoriality in the Global Era

  • Hyeseon JeongEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

Language has been one of the state apparatuses for the production and control of national territory. Globalization complicates linguistic territoriality as the increasing mobility of people and the ever-growing domain of the English language appear to disintegrate the exclusive links between language and space. This chapter discusses the changing relationship between the state, territory, and language in the seemingly deterritorializing world through a case study of South Korea’s linguistic institutions. South Korea is an interesting case study because the trajectory of its linguistic territoriality reveals the transition from a postcolonial protectionist ideology to a subimperial developmentalist one. The combination of the country’s anxiety about the looming linguistic extinction, the developmental state, and the 1990s’ rhetoric of globalization culminated into a state project that aims at promoting the Korean language as a global language. At the same time, the state introduced Korean language proficiency requirements into its migration policies, which disproportionately affect Asian migrants. This new language regime illustrates a postcolonial example of expansive linguistic territoriality that is not only shaped by nationalism but also a subimperial desire for a global status.

Keywords

Linguistic territoriality Hegemony of English South Korea Developmentalism Global language 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental and Life SciencesUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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