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On the limits of language planning: Class, state and power

Luke, A., McHoul, A.W. and Mey, J.L. (1990) On the limits of language planning: Class, state and power. In: Baldauf, R. and Luke, A., (eds.) Language planning and education in Australasia and the South Pacific. Multilingual Matters Ltd, Clevedon, OH, pp. 25-44.

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Language planning as a social scientific enterprise is roughly three decades old. It arose as an extension of sociolinguistics into the domain of social planning, and the job of describing and tracing patterns of language change thereby was tied to the normative task of prescribing such change. The enabling historical conditions which led to the formalization of language planning had their bases in postwar concerns with the systematic 'scientific' engineering of social and educational policy. As a result, many language planners embrace the discursive strategies of what Habermas (11972) has called 'technicist rationality': the presupposition that the linear application of positivist social science could transform problematic, value-laden cultural questions into simple matters of technical efficiency.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Publisher: Multilingual Matters Ltd
Copyright: 1990 The Authors
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