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Although we may not know it, more often than not, our use of language is regulated, both overtly and covertly. In this book, Elana Shohamy delves into the hidden agendas which operate behind language policy, examining the decisions surrounding language use, and emphasising the effects of these decisions, and potential constraint, on different groups within society.
Drawing on examples from the United States, Israel, and United Kingdom asylum policies, the author demonstrates different categories of language policy, from explicit use by government bodies and the media, to implicit use where no active decisions are made. The book also reveals and examines the mechanisms which are used to introduce language policy, such as propaganda and even educational material.
This critical exploration of language policy concludes with arguments for a more democratic and open approach to language policy and planning, suggesting strategies for resistance and ways to protect the linguistic rights of individuals and groups.
With useful summaries at the end of each chapter, The Hidden Agendas of Language Policy will be of interest to students from a variety of disciplines including linguistics, sociology, political science, philosophy and communication studies.