Hiding your difference: How non-global languages are being marginalised in everyday interaction

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This paper is about the effect of a particular inherited ideology on the language practices of a particular intercultural community. The ideology, outlined in the first section, may be characterisedas difference-equals-conflict. The community is a multi-national student body, and in the second section I trace the origin of one feature of its language practicesto the application of the ideology. The ultimate effect is the marginalisation of smaller languages. Like all ideologies, the difference-equals-conflict ideology affects people's behaviour independently of their conscious beliefs. In this case, the students' positive attitudes to cultural diversity fail to prevent the diminution of this diversity. In the final section, I argue that this unwanted process results from the failure to examine the constituent elements of the ideology. I conclude withsome suggestions for undermining it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-490
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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