Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Politics of Language
Astrid von Busekist
Political language narrowly defined refers to a specific use of language for political means. In a broader sense, political language refers to language policy or political linguistics —that is, the ways in which governments attempt to shape the linguistic structure of the society or the claims issued by linguistic groups to change existing language arrangements or legislations. Neither of these working definitions fully captures the relevance of language issues to politics and political science. This entry therefore reviews three types of related but not overlapping issues: (1) the way social sciences address the relationship between language and politics, (2) classical language policies and legislation, and (3) the “normative turn.” Until recently, language matters in social sciences have been addressed in anthropology, socio linguistics, and sociology, focusing almost exclusively on language identity (class or group identity) and language as an expression of a specific culture—hence its intrinsic value as a To ...