On the conditions of authority in academic publics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The discourse of some of the most powerful public figures in today’s world is often incoherent and nonsensical. Incoherent yet authoritative discourse shows that authority does not rest in language but results from non-linguistic and pre-textual conditions. The non-linguistic and pre-textual conditions are exemplified in an Australian case-study of a media debate between the Immigration Minister and a refugee, drawing on research by Smith-Khan (2019a, b). Two such conditions are then examined with reference to academic publics. First, I ask which languages do or do not carry authority, before moving on to speaker identity as a condition of authority. The close association between English and academic excellence has resulted in diminishing the authority of academic publications in languages other than English. The same is true of publications by women and people of color. I close by reflecting on referencing practices as forms of extending authoritativeness to voices in excluded languages and from excluded scholars in academic publics.
LanguageEnglish
Pages521-528
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019

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language
people of color
discourse
minister
refugee
immigration
Authority
Language
Discourse
Public Figures
Excellence
Refugees
Immigration

Keywords

  • academic communication
  • authority
  • English as a global language
  • gender
  • inequality
  • public communication
  • race

Cite this

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title = "On the conditions of authority in academic publics",
abstract = "The discourse of some of the most powerful public figures in today’s world is often incoherent and nonsensical. Incoherent yet authoritative discourse shows that authority does not rest in language but results from non-linguistic and pre-textual conditions. The non-linguistic and pre-textual conditions are exemplified in an Australian case-study of a media debate between the Immigration Minister and a refugee, drawing on research by Smith-Khan (2019a, b). Two such conditions are then examined with reference to academic publics. First, I ask which languages do or do not carry authority, before moving on to speaker identity as a condition of authority. The close association between English and academic excellence has resulted in diminishing the authority of academic publications in languages other than English. The same is true of publications by women and people of color. I close by reflecting on referencing practices as forms of extending authoritativeness to voices in excluded languages and from excluded scholars in academic publics.",
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On the conditions of authority in academic publics. / Piller, Ingrid.

In: Journal of Sociolinguistics, Vol. 23, No. 5, 15.11.2019, p. 521-528.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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