Blackledge A (2006) The magical frontier between the dominant and the dominated: Sociolinguistics and social justice in a multilingual world. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 27 (1), pp. 22-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/17447140608668536
Research in multilingual societies often attends to the micro level of linguistic interactions, as linguistic minority speakers negotiate their way through a majoritylanguage world. However, this research does not always engage with the social, political and historical contexts that produce and reproduce the conditions within which some linguistic resources have less currency than others. Methodological approaches must be able to make visible those hegemonic discourses that construct discriminatory language ideologies. In multilingual states those who either refuse, or are unable to conform to the dominant ideology are marginalised, denied access to symbolic resources and, often, excluded. A good deal of research has identified the difficulties that linguistic minorities can face in gaining entry to domains of power. Rather less research has identified the ways in which such domains are constructed, and their borders reinforced. Too little is still known about the countless acts of recognition and misrecognition that produce and reproduce what Pierre Bourdieu called the 'magical frontier between the dominant and the dominated'. These magical frontiers become an issue of social justice when some are excluded and denied access to domains of power. When linguistic analysis is used to understand the ways in which public and political discourse creates the conditions in which minority languages are devalued, everybody wins except those who seek to discriminate against linguistic minority speakers.
Ethics; language ideology; linguistic analysis; minority languages; power; research;
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development: Volume 27, Issue 1