Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

The Politics of English by Marnie Holborow


The Politics of English by Marnie Holborow

`A very welcome and much-needed broadening of current theoretical perspectives' - Professor Norman Fairclough, University of Lancaster 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.


`The outstanding virture of this book is that whatever expectations one brings to it are likely to be confounded. Blissfully free of dogmatic jargon that once made ideological tracts such hard slogging, it opens with an introductory chapter sounding the contemporary Marxist call to arms against, not capitalism, but post-structuralism' - Journal of Sociolinguistics

`A very welcome and much-needed broadening of current theoretical perspectives' - Professor Norman Fairclough

`Anyone studying history, sociology, literature, education, politics or linguistics will come across as a teacher who asks you to consider one version or another of the axiom that reality is made by language. The core of this book is a sustained attack on this view. Starting out from Marx, in particular with ideas best expressed in The German Ideology, Marnie Holborow goes on to use the works of the first and best-known Marxist linguists: Voloshinov and Vygotsky. Her main areas of concern are the relationship between language and social existence; whether English is becoming a world language; is there such a thing as female language; and what is standard English?' - Socialist Review

`This book provides a much-needed reaffirmation of the validity of a Marxist approach to linguistics. This book will prove a key resource to students having to grapple with the morass of postmodernist thought. It will also be of use and interest to a wider readership, eg teachers and parents who want to put the highly politicised debates about language into a wider context' - Bookmarks

About the Author

Marnie Holborow is a lecturer at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

6th October 1999


Marnie Holborow

More books by Marnie Holborow
Author 'Like for Like'


SAGE Publications Inc


224 pages





Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!


A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton