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Dangerous Multilingualism

Northern Perspectives on Order, Purity and Normality

Dangerous Multilingualism by Jan Blommaert
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This volume presents studies that provide detailed and actual descriptions of 'endangering' situations of multilingualism. Theoretically, it documents language-ideological processes of power and their effects on the real life-chances of multilingual subjects. In that sense, it provides addenda to existing scholarship on language endangerment, language policy and language rights. The empirical data in most studies comes from Finland, a country where a robust self-perception of monolingualism and cultural homogeneity obscures a number of hidden forms of problematic multilingualism. Two chapters extend the discussion to other North European contexts.

The book captures these problems in terms of the tension between late-modern forms of social, cultural and linguistic diversity and responses to this diversity which range from modernist reactions emphasizing order, purity and normality, to pre-modernist responses which recycle the late 19th century national romantic notions of 'one language, one nation'.

Although most of the chapters discuss issues of multilingualism in a north European contexts, this book is of interest to international audiences, mainly because the dangers of multilingualism it discusses are not foreign to other contexts of the world facing globalization and superdiversity and the challenges they pose on the nation state and its language situations and ideologies.
Palgrave Macmillan; November 2012
330 pages; ISBN 9781137283566
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Title: Dangerous Multilingualism
Author: Jan Blommaert; Sirpa Leppänen; Päivi Pahta; Tiina Räisänen
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