Language Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 281–283 | Cite as

Lauren Zentz: Statehood, Scale and Hierarchy: History, Language and Identity in Indonesia

Multilingual Matters, Bristol, 2017, xxv + 253 pp, Hb £109.95, ISBN 9781783098460
  • Lionel Wee
Book Review

This is a remarkable monograph. Zentz has managed to paint a picture of language life in contemporary multilingual Indonesia while showing us just how it in many ways reflects the ideological effects of historical events, some long past and others less so. Linking contested and shifting ideologies across multiple timelines, Zentz employs a cross-cutting presentational style, where interviews with young Indonesians are contrasted with policy data covering a variety of time periods.

Zentz’s monograph consists of three empirically oriented chapters, bookended by two conceptually oriented ones. Beginning with ‘States, Language(s) and Globalization’, Zentz discusses processes of state formation in relation to globalization and argues for the analytical value of thinking in terms of scales and performativity. Scales are defined by her as:

the multiple planes – local, national and global will be the three most relevant in this book – on which people evaluate their and others’ behaviors. They...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Language and LiteratureNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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