In South Korea, English is a language of utmost importance, sought with an unprecedented zeal as an indispensable commodity in education, business, popular culture, and national policy. This book investigates how the status of English as a hegemonic language in South Korea is constructed through the mediation of language ideologies in local discourse. Adopting the framework of language ideology and its current developments, it is argued that English in Korean society is a subject of deep-rooted ambiguities, with multiple and sometimes conflicting ideologies coexisting within a tension-ridden discursive space. The complex ways in which these ideologies are reproduced, contested, and negotiated through specific metalinguistic practices across diverse sites ultimately contribute to a local realization of the global hegemony of English as an international language. Through its insightful analysis of metalinguistic discourse in language policy debates, cross-linguistic humor, television shows, and face-to-face interaction, The Local Construction of a Global Language makes an original contribution to the study of language and globalization, proposing an innovative analytic approach that bridges the gap between the investigation of large-scale global forces and the study of micro-level discourse practices.
De Gruyter Mouton