Language and social justice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference book


Social justice is the overcoming of injustice. Linguistic injustice manifests as linguistic subordination and as the restriction of access to social goods through language. Linguistic subordination is based in the fact of linguistic diversity and means that some linguistic repertoires and their speakers are denied parity of recognition. Restriction of access to social goods such as education, employment, healthcare, or welfare works through institutions. Institutions tend to operate relatively rigid language regimes that place a double burden on those whose linguistic repertoires deviate from those of the institution. This pattern is illustrated with reference to schools as one example. To overcome linguistic injustice, language must be recognized as a mechanism of exclusion and institutions need to be tasked with the responsibility to ensure equitable access irrespective of the linguistic background of the individual.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe international encyclopedia of linguistic anthropology
EditorsJames M. Stanlaw
Place of PublicationHoboken, NJ, USA
PublisherWiley-Blackwell, Wiley
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781118786093
ISBN (Print)9781118786765
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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