[lg policy] Re: lgpolicy-list Digest, Vol 13, Issue 36

Gareth Price gareth.price at DUKE.EDU
Fri May 21 00:31:40 UTC 2010


I wasn't going to chime in on this, but here's my two cents, for what it's
worth. Kerry - I think you're getting things a little mixed up here. For
starters, much (though not all) language policy analysis is situated -
broadly - within the church of discourse analysis. It's not possible - or at
least it's intellectually sloppy - just to pick and choose the discourses we
like, and fit our arguments, and discard those that we don't, and don't.
Disregarding discourses we don't like to hear about is also quite dangerous:
we can put our heads in the sand, but these are discourses that *will*
operate  - in public spheres and private - regardless of whether they appear
on this list. We have a hard enough time trying to talk about social justice
and equality and rights - our task is made very much harder if we have no
idea what our audience (our students, laypeople, policymakers) actually
think.

At the end of the day, these discourses work *precisely* because they make
sense to someone, somewhere. Ideologies and discourses aren't some
'falsehood' counter-posed to some objective 'truth'. Language policy
researchers who believe that 'everyone should be able to speak whatever they
want' are as ideologically encumbered as the BNP who think that language -
and race - should be the defining criteria of citizenship, democratic
participation and basic human rights.

Our task is to try and unpick what these discourses mean, and *how* they
operate, not referee their acceptability or otherwise. I'm going to use a
crass analogy here, but I think it works: I can't imagine many surgeons are
very fond of cancer, but it wouldn't be very helpful if the field of
medicine en masse decided to believe that cancer didn't exist.

It's not, either, necessarily that BNP discourses have become more
'acceptable' and they are posted here 'without comment'. I'm not sure that's
the whole dynamic here: what seems to be clear is that this has definitely
raised the hackles of at least a few people here. I don't think anyone here
finds them 'acceptable' or thinks that this is 'free airtime' or
uncritically accepts them. In fact, the list serves an extremely important
purpose *by the very fact* that it is something of a repository for
counter-discourses - and acts as a good barometer for what's really going
on, out there - on the streets. I also don't think there needs to be a
statement 'condoning material that encourages race hate, conflict and
discrimination' - I think that's a given. But what I do think we need to do
is critically interrogate these ideas - and try and understand why - for
some people - they make a whole lot of sense.


Dr. Gareth Price
Visiting Assistant Professor
CSEEES/Linguistics Program
Duke University
Durham, NC
27708-2960

>
> Anthea
> Your response seems contradictory to me. First you jump on the the list
> member who dared to question why material was being taken direct from the
> website of an extreme right-wing organisation which affliates itself openly
> with Nazism. You want this member not just excluded from the list but
> blacklisted as well. Then you want everyone to be open and unpolitical and
> you seem to be saying that we can't differentiate a fascist organisation
> from any other group. These are old arguments - they were used to stall anti
> racist movements in the UK years ago. Thankfully the local communities
> didn't listen to them and there was a time when groups like the BNP found it
> hard to spread their lies and hate. In posting on their materials for them -
> for free and without comment - you are doing organisations like the BNP a
> big favour. It's not about being politically correct or not offending
> people. It's about being careful not to give free airtime to these dangerous
> organisations. It would be!
>  quite possible for this list to have a clear statement of its values and
> an explanation of its practices. It would make it clear that the list does
> not condone material that encourages race hate, conflict and discrimination.
> Kerry
>
> Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech
> Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
> Faculty of Education
> University of Southern Queensland
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 09:31:04 +1000
> From: Kerry Taylor-Leech <Kerry.Taylor-Leech at usq.edu.au>
> Subject: [lg policy] RE: Policy on publishing racist and fascist
>        material on     the list
> To: "lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu"
>        <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Message-ID:
>        <FF76F99476D1B84DB0A8A96DC7AA53DA2E5158BB20 at EXCHMB.usq.edu.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> I agree that it is useful (if sickening) to read these types of article so
> that we can "know our enemies" but with this kind of fascist material one
> can never be complacent. Any exposure of this kind of "literature" provides
> it with oxygen and airtime. These organisations know what they are doing
> when they write their inflammatory material and they aim to insert
> thmelseves into debates anywhere they can.
> I think it is quite wrong to attack those list readers who question the
> posting of this stuff on this list. Fascist material cannot appear on the
> list uncriticised. Doing so provides these organisations with another
> platform. Let's not forget that the NP ran for a seat in the recent British
> elections in a constituency where they would have once been run off the
> streets. That's how acceptable their ideologies have become. Yes post this
> garbage up but not without a loud and clear statement that this list does
> not support racist and fascist ideologies.
> Kerry
>
> Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech
> Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
> Faculty of Education
> University of Southern Queensland
> ________________________________________
>
> ________________________________________
> From: lgpolicy-list-bounces+a.f.gupta=leeds.ac.uk at groups.sas.upenn.edu[lgpolicy-list-bounces+a.f.gupta=
> leeds.ac.uk at groups.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Kerry Taylor-Leech [
> Kerry.Taylor-Leech at usq.edu.au]
> Sent: 20 May 2010 00:31
> To: lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
> Subject: [lg policy] RE: Policy on publishing racist and fascist material
> on    the list
>
> I agree that it is useful (if sickening) to read these types of article so
> that we can "know our enemies" but with this kind of fascist material one
> can never be complacent. Any exposure of this kind of "literature" provides
> it with oxygen and airtime. These organisations know what they are doing
> when they write their inflammatory material and they aim to insert
> thmelseves into debates anywhere they can.
> I think it is quite wrong to attack those list readers who question the
> posting of this stuff on this list. Fascist material cannot appear on the
> list uncriticised. Doing so provides these organisations with another
> platform. Let's not forget that the NP ran for a seat in the recent British
> elections in a constituency where they would have once been run off the
> streets. That's how acceptable their ideologies have become. Yes post this
> garbage up but not without a loud and clear statement that this list does
> not support racist and fascist ideologies.
> Kerry
>
> Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech
> Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
> Faculty of Education
> University of Southern Queensland
> ________________________________________
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 15:58:36 -0700
> From: "Stan Anonby" <stan-sandy_anonby at sil.org>
> Subject: Re: [lg policy] The Colonisation of Britain Continues: 16% of
>        PrimarySchool Children Do not Speak English as Their Home Language
> To: "Language Policy List" <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Message-ID: <D5DBAAD41FAF403B9F0098C0C3151D13 at silq5ubwwaom4w>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="Windows-1252";
>        reply-type=response
>
> Hah!
>
> Great suggestion, Christina!
>
> Stan
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christina Paulston" <paulston at pitt.edu>
> To: "Language Policy List" <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [lg policy] The Colonisation of Britain Continues: 16% of
> PrimarySchool Children Do not Speak English as Their Home Language
>
>
> > Hal,
> > I have a better suggestion.  Just cut off from the list and blacklist
>  for
> > the future people who just want their opinions
> > published (like whoever Davyth and others are) and who don't  understand
> > that it is crucial to know what all opinions are.
> > Then we don't have to waste your time repeatedly with this stuff.   Keep
> > up the good work -- I and my students are most grateful to you,
>  Christina
> >
> >


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