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Language Policies and (Dis)Citizenship Rights, Access, Pedagogies Edited by: Vaidehi Ramanathan

Paperback - 312 pages
07 Aug 2013
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


This volume explores the concept of 'citizenship', and argues that it should be understood both as a process of becoming and the ability to participate fully, rather than as a status that can be inherited, acquired, or achieved. From a courtroom in Bulawayo to a nursery in Birmingham, the authors use local contexts to foreground how the vulnerable, particularly those from minority language backgrounds, continue to be excluded, whilst offering a powerful demonstration of the potential for change offered by individual agency, resistance and struggle. In addressing questions such as 'under what local conditions does ""dis-citizenship"" happen?'; 'what role do language policies and pedagogic practices play?' and 'what kinds of margins and borders keep humans from fully participating'? The chapters in this volume shift the debate away from visas and passports to more uncertain and contested spaces of interpretation.


Vaidehi Ramanathan's edited volume is certainly a daring endeavor. Language Policies and (Dis)citizenship yields fascinating findings and opens up an exciting area for research. The book reads equally well as a whole or by chapter. Academics and graduate students will use the book as a source of inspiration for papers and dissertations. Single chapters may be used as reading material for an undergraduate course in sociolinguistics. Most importantly perhaps, language policy makers around the globe would be well-inspired to read Ramanathan's book.

- Linguist List 25.3394
- Ghislain Potriquet, University of Strasbourg

Author Biography:

Vaidehi Ramanathan is a Professor of Applied Sociolinguistics in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Davis. Her previous publications include The English-Vernacular Divide: Postcolonial Language Politics and Practice (Multilingual Matters, 2005) and Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities (Multilingual Matters, 2009).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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