`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.

In the Beginning was Society: Marx, Volosinov and Vygotsky on Language

In the Beginning was Society: Marx, Volosinov and Vygotsky on Language

In the beginning was society: Marx, Volosinov and Vygotsky on language

‘People know how to talk in more or less the sense that spiders know how to spin webs.’ Stephen Pinker's observation in his 1990s bestseller on language reformulates a theme that has dominated linguistic theory since the beginning of the twentieth century. Language is an autonomous system that happens on its own, whose very uniqueness and complexity reinforce its position as an independent structure, and which has no necessary frame of reference in the social or cultural world. For Pinker, the autonomy of language arises from its physiological roots in ‘a distinct piece of the biological makeup of our brains’; language is an instinct ...

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