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English language ideologies in the Chinese foreign language education policies: a world-system perspective

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Abstract

This paper investigates the Chinese state’s English language ideologies as reflected in official Chinese foreign language education policies (FLEP). It contends that the Chinese FLEP not only indicate a way by which the state gains consent, maintains cultural governance, and exerts hegemony internally, but also shows the traces of the combined force of the dominant actors both from above to below state levels in what Wallerstein defines the modern world-system (1974, 1989, 2004a, 2004b). To this end, the paper analyzes ideologies embedded in the Chinese FLEP and how state authorities use FLEP for the purposes of political and cultural governance. The issues are approached by investigating the role of the state, its interaction with the other actors in the modern world system and the individual struggle between social constraint and personal freedom.

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Acknowledgments

I am indebted to Professor David Block, Dr. John O’Regan and Dr. Gibson Ferguson for their kindness in discussing key issues and their invaluable comments on the earlier versions of this paper. I thank Professor Jan Blommaert for numerous discussions on the theory of World-System Analysis. My thanks also go to the reviewers and editors of Language Policy for their encouragement and for the critical but constructive comments. A presentation based on a draft of the paper was given at the BAAL (British Association of Applied Linguistics) meeting, Aberdeen, 2010.

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Correspondence to Lin Pan.

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Pan, L. English language ideologies in the Chinese foreign language education policies: a world-system perspective. Lang Policy 10, 245–263 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10993-011-9205-8

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