While, for a long time, the prevention and resolution of linguistic conflicts occupied a central place in Western political research and political theory, linguistic policies and the politics of language are no longer central issues in contemporary political science. The conflicts among linguistic groups are dismissed as a “smokescreen” exploited by political entrepreneurs to disguise more “real” and fundamental interests of economic, political or religious nature. In no other case can such dramatic decline in the perceived importance of political-linguistic conflicts be so clearly seen as in the case of South Africa. Since 1994, the political debate has focused almost entirely on the issue of economic inequality and its association with the racial classification of the apartheid era and English, the former Imperial language, has in fact quickly established itself as the national lingua franca and the principal language in the government offices, the education system, the media and the private economy. Nevertheless, some of the tensions associated with linguistic differences have managed to find its way into the public space.
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- Language policy
- Language politics
- South Africa