Sprachpolitik: Some socio-political effects of English in Germany

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Language is a major component of identification for individuals and nations, and linguistic difference has manifested itself as an enduring political issue. This continues in the age of "globalization" when the presence of a powerful global force, the English language, now less attached to a particular national entity, is viewed as intrusive among language groups that are, including in the most economically and technologically advanced countries. Some groups and individuals within Germany's postindustrial civil society are conducting an ardent defence of German against the encroachment of English. The German state, meanwhile, is pressured to support the national language while adapting, like the private economy, to new imperatives that tend to magnify the presence of English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-642
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • English
  • German
  • Globalization
  • Language politics
  • National identity


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