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Critical Empirical Approaches in Language Policy and Planning

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Epistemological and Theoretical Foundations in Language Policy and Planning

Abstract

This chapter considers the epistemological and theoretical foundations of critical empirical approaches in language policy and planning (LPP) research. Developments in the 1980s and 1990s reflected a broader trend in sociolinguistics, and the language sciences more generally, towards critical conceptualisations that focused on power in language, language learning, and language policy processes. This critical perspective was influential for a new generation of LPP scholars in the 2000s and 2010s. Much of this work has focused on how language policies impact educational opportunity and equity for speakers of minority languages. After the historical overview of the epistemological and theoretical foundations, this chapter considers findings from ethnographic and discourse analytic studies and the value of these contributions to the field. Finally, the chapter considers the future role of critical empirical approaches in the field of LPP. In particular, debates about agency and structure, the macro-micro dialectic as a theoretical took, and researcher positionality are considered, in the light of theoretical developments and empirical findings.

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Johnson, D.C. (2023). Critical Empirical Approaches in Language Policy and Planning. In: Epistemological and Theoretical Foundations in Language Policy and Planning. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-22315-0_2

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