The Politics of English: A Marxist View of Language
`A very welcome and much-needed broadening of current theoretical perspectives' - Professor Norman Fairclough This book offers a major reappraisal of the role of language in the social world. Focusing on three main areas - the global spread of English; Standard English; and language and sexism - The Politics of English: examines World English in relation to international capitalism and colonialism; analyzes the ideological underpinnings of the debate about Standard English; and locates sexism in language as arising from social relations. Locating itself in the classical Marxist tradition, this book shows how language is both shaped by, and contributes to social life.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
© Marnie Holborow 1999
First published 1999
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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I would like to thank all those in the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies in Dublin City University for making my sabbatical leave possible, and particularly Dermot McMahon, Veronica Crosbie and Maurice Scully who covered my teaching while I was away. I am also very grateful to Deirdre Beecher in the Library for her unstinting help with Inter-Library Loans.
I am grateful to Julia Hall and Kate Scott at Sage Publications for their valuable assistance during the process of getting the book to print and to Norman Fairclough for his generous encouragement.
I am indebted to many socialists, in Britain and in Ireland, who, over the years, have set me thinking in this direction, and particularly to Sheila McGregor for a talk that she gave at Marxism 97 in London on Language and Consciousness, to John Molyneux for his invaluable article on the political correctness debate and to Chris Harman and Alex Callinicos whose writings on the origins of human society and the cul-de-sac of postmodernism provided the starting point for this book. Particular thanks also go to Jeannie Robinson for her detailed (and very cheering) reading of the draft and to James Eaden for his suggestions. Thanks, too, to Paul Holborow and Jan Nielsen for providing me with some of the political landmarks that started me off on this route. I'd also like to thank my father and mother, John and Cicely Holborow, who have always encouraged me, even from afar.
Finally, most of all, I would like to thank Kate Allen for her incredible and much appreciated patience with me and Kieran Allen for his valuable criticisms of the drafts, and a lot of other things besides.[Page viii]
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