Language and citizenship: Broadening the agenda

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The main argument advanced in this article that frames this special issue is that citizenship is not just a highly polysemic word employed by the media and other political institutions; it is also a set of norms and (linguistic) behaviours that individuals are socialised into, as well as a series of practices that social actors perform through an array of semiotic means including multilingualism, multivoicedness, the body, and affect. In light of this, it is proposed that the linguistic/discursive study of citizenship should be expanded beyond a rather narrow emphasis on political proposals about language testing to include the diverse, more or less mundane, ways in which citizenship is enacted via an array of multivocal, material, and affective semiotic resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Language and Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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