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Linguicism

  • By: Tove Skutnabb-Kangas
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Language is a key dimension in the complex processes of hierarchizing groups in society and maintaining and reproducing patterns of dominance. Increasingly, language is used instead of or alongside other means of control to maintain, legitimate, effectuate, and reproduce unequal divisions of structural power and material and nonmaterial resources between elites and the dominated. The world’s haves and have-nots are also partially constructed on the basis of their ethnic origins and culture (their cultural capital) and on the basis of which languages they know or do not know (their linguistic capital). These new -isms––culturally and ethnically argued racism (ethnicism) and linguistically argued racism (linguicism)––are akin to traditional biologically argued racisms and are even in the process of replacing them. Thus, the way we label, talk ...

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