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Linguistic Minorities and Modernity A Sociolinguistic Ethnography by Monica Heller

Linguistic Minorities and Modernity A Sociolinguistic Ethnography

Part of the Advances in Sociolinguistics Series


Linguistic Minorities and Modernity A Sociolinguistic Ethnography by Monica Heller

The subject of this book is linguistic minorities, and how language is used by speakers of languages which are not the main language of communication. This is a core topic for sociolinguists, who examine how language is actually used within a given context. Globalization, migration, and the erosion of nationhood is creating far more linguistic minorities as society becomes increasingly pluralistic. One of the major sites of contact between languages is the school, and this book focuses on linguistic interaction within this educational context. Through a careful examination of the language practices in the daily life of a school, Monica Heller explores issues such as changing language policy, bilingualism, identity, power, ideology and gender from the point of view of the minority speaker. In so doing she provdies a fresh new insight into this important area of sociolinguistics. Linguistic Minorities and Modernity is written in an accessible and lively narrative style, and uses real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the discussions. The text has been revised throughout, and includes a new introduction by the author. The book is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.


. ..This book is sufficiently brought up to date to be a valuable addition to the current literature in the field...a very thorough and compelling ethnographic study of a minority language school and especially of the daily language practices of that school; this approach raises questions not only about language policy in schools and classrooms but also about issues of power, ideology, and identity. Without question, this is a valuable and worthwhile work, and one that deserves our attention. -Timothy Reagan, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, December 2008

About the Author

Monica Heller is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th December 2006


Monica Heller

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


246 pages





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