Globalization — Threats and Opportunities 7 2.
This image of globalization is indebted to the critical analysis of mass culture pioneered in the s by Horkheimer and Adorno. It takes for granted the continued existence of the nation state as the basis of the organization of a reality that had not existed previously. The subjugation of cultural objectives and in particular linguistic and cultural self-determination to economic interests is simultaneous with the protection of producers and. Its absence from the political and sociological debate notwithstanding. This world wide system. The first interpretation links the language question closely to a concept of power vested in nation states and a system of international power relations.
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The conflict is. What is at present changing. Based on observations gathered during their exile in America.
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What was missing from their analysis and. American business strategy suggests. Within this framework. Zbigniew Brzezinski recently wrote.
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As Phillipson argues in this volume. The apparent arrogance of the political and economic elite in relation to the rest of the world provides further support for this critical analysis. Language as inextricably intertwined with this struggle for the domination of one nation over others makes it mandatory for anti-colonial and antiimperialist theories of liberation to include it in their critical analysis. This distortion has to be corrected. European languages are being interpreted as centers of authentic culture. It is this analytical framework.
For many this new language is difficult to comprehend. Globalization — Threats and Opportunities 9 2. Aggression and violence.
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These feelings of threat are not to be underestimated and have led to active responses ranging from violent protests to subtle forms of resistance. Petitions to parliaments of European countries. The power to litter public language with often ill-understood phrases and fragments of American English can appear as mere folly. French and other continental languages.
This achievement cannot be understood as an act of liberation so long as this opening is perceived as a damaging loss. In Germany. The loss of language is not perceived in isolation. The critical theory of the American culture industry undoubtedly captures the mood of many who feel directly affected by globalization.
As long as changes in the language are perceived as loss and threat. The president of the Federal Republic of Germany.
For those who are directly affected. The verhunzte Sprache. These feelings of loss and destruction. In contrast. Collections of ridiculous examples of linguistic pollution have been put together. From the distant and disengaged perspective of a socio-linguist. They are indicators of the perceived threat and growing insecurity felt by many.
Focusing on language suggests a very different account. In contradistinction to the assumption that societies. The new importance of language as a defining quality and the new position of English among all other languages are indicative of the emergence of a new world.
These sociological definitions interpret globalization. These flows do not have a specific place of origin and do not follow a defined course of movement.
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The rapid emergence of English as the world language and the simultaneous decline of linguistic variety make the observer aware of a different scenario. Yet changes we are currently witnessing go far beyond ordinary changes of influence and popularity. While this is an attempt to overcome the restrictive framework of the nation state and related international systems based upon the nation state. More radical definitions.
The linguistic map of the globe has never been stable. Globalization — Threats and Opportunities 11 as the extension of the process of modernization. Their relationships are highly complex and resist analysis through a causeand-effect schema. Recent changes are interpreted as an intensification and acceleration of these processes. Originators and recipients vary and change roles. It links the present to the emergence of modernity and globalization to the spirit of early explorers. It is the objective of this volume to make a contribution to the debate by focusing on the role of language. From this point of view.
One effect of globalization is that the traditional privileging of national languages in the production of knowledge is eroded. Concerns in relation to the political implications of English as the dominant language world-wide notwithstanding. This presence in one space will make one language indispensable. It defines the present as the presence of one society only.
This is not the result of the traditional competition between nations. We no longer perceive an individual theory that is translated from one language into the language of a host society and that subsequently travels from one place to another. An appropriate answer requires a shift of perspective.
Knowledge no longer has a natural home in any one. English is used as the vehicle. Globalization — Threats and Opportunities 13 Swales of scientific language is in its early years and will not be threatened by extinction for a long time. The same seems to apply to the relationship between knowledge and language. Linguistic globalization has reached a point where theories couched in local.
For example. Within this network of theory and information flows. The underlying image of travel needs to be reconstructed under the conditions in which travel can no longer be defined as a movement from a place of origin to a destination. If we ask what the new knowledge gained by using globalization as a sensitizing analytical tool might be. Many of these. It is. The emerging world society. Globalization is the result of a claim made by modern western societies. On the contrary. The question as to how theories travel from one nation to another.