and Globalisation : a slave to the market?
by Marnie Holborow
2. English and Globalisation - language
from above and below
English and globalisation, or Englishisation
in Globalisation as one writer refers to it, raises the question
of ideology in language. Language use is part of broader social
activities, processes and conflicts. Recognising this highlights
the value of students being engaged actively in what has been
termed critical language awareness. This
process involves students in exploring the ways in which language
can both conceal and reveal the social and the ideological
nature of all texts.
The global market, capitalist globalisation
and the language of neoliberalism has penetrated deep into
English. Examples of this in the educational arena are many.
- Policy reports on education
The paper examined examples of "neoliberal
speak" in a recent Irish report (The Skilbeck Report)
which calls for greater "student-driven funding"
in the educational sector.
- University publications
In University publications, such as the
student handbook and minutes of academic meetings, the language
of the market appears in domains normally reserved for business.
The most striking of these cluster of words is the increasingly
accepted designation of student as "customer".
But global English has not only been determined
by what Lakoff calls "ideological frames", handed
down from governments and corporations. It is also reinvented
- Unpicking the dominant discourse
"McWorld" dominant discourse
has been widely questioned, as a result of global and very
sizeable anti-globalisation and anti-war movements. The
Language of War columns in the Guardian, which ran for the
duration of the war, were used as examples of ongoing ideological
questioning of new words such as sensitive site exploitation,
uprise, regime target, liberation bounce.
- Contesting ideology
The spontaneous appearance, during the
war, of various critiques of the military's use of language,
showed that dominant ideology in language, despite its weight
in the media, does not go uncontested. There were many examples
of challenging of this "manufactured consent"
to use Chomsky's phrase - on websites on leaflets, in student
newspapers etc. One particularly striking medium of this
was slogans on placards on anti-war demonstrations across
the world - examples of which reveal both the sophistication
of awareness about ideology in language and also the sheer
internationalism of English use.
|Bush Empty warhead
Los Angeles, USA
War is terrorism on a bigger budget
Belfast, Northern Ireland
No war Play rugby
Italy's rugby team banner, Rome, Italy
Excess of peace not excess of evil
Muscat, Oman first all-women demonstration
We shall overcome
Sang in Brussels, Belgium
No blood for Oil
Bush killer Stop Bush
Bush will yeh ever cop on to yerself?
Protester's placard in Dublin Ireland
We fight bombs with pompoms
Radical Cheerleaders New York, USA
No more blood for oil
( under picture of Blair with Bush's eyes) London, England
Make tea not war
English is being remade to express the vantage
points of its many new speakers, who simply refuse to be the
passive ventriloquists of Empire, US style. These point to
be another world English in the making.
Marnie Holborow lecturers
in English and Irish studies in the School of Applied
Language and Intercultural Studies< in Dublin City
University. Besides teaching on Exchanges programmes,
she also teaches on MA programmes on Irish immigration
policy and World English.
Author of the Politics of English (Sage Publications)
her present research interests are English and Neoliberalism
and English in the Irish context.
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