English: a neutral language of global communication? Sociopedagogical implications
More details
Hide details
UNESCO Janusz Korczak Chair in Social Pedagogy, The Maria Grzegorzewska University [Katedra Pedagogiki Społecznej im. Janusza Korczaka UNESCO, Akademia Marii Grzegorzewskiej], Szczęśliwicka 40, 02-353 Warszawa, Poland
Submission date: 2022-03-06
Final revision date: 2022-05-10
Acceptance date: 2022-05-10
Publication date: 2022-07-25
Corresponding author
Anna Odrowąż-Coates   

Katedra Pedagogiki Społecznej im. Janusza Korczaka UNESCO, Akademia Marii Grzegorzewskiej, Szczęśliwicka 40, 02-353 Warszawa, Polska
Wychowanie w Rodzinie 2022;27(2):157-165
Introduction. English, as a language of global communication, has become an element of social status and therefore connected to the issues of inclusion and exclusion. Within privileged social groups, its position has changed from a foreign language to a second language, which demonstrates a linguistic shift with long-term consequences. Aim. The aim is to capture the cultural and individual implications of the observed phenomenon reported in Poland and Portugal. Materials and methods. The methodological framework is based on institutional ethnography. It is accompanied by the concept of “soft power” and “positioning theory”. Results. The research results indicate that English can be seen as a new tool for social stratification with an effect on language policies, impacting people’s lives and their opportunities. Whilst critical of the neoliberal, neo-colonial and imperialistic dimensions of English language hegemony, the author captures an original gender perspective on English as a language of opportunity, inclusion, and empowerment.
Boggs, C. (1984). The two revolutions: Gramsci and the dilemmas of western Marxism. Boston: South End Press.
Boudon, R. (1974). Education, opportunity and social inequality; changing prospects in Western society. New York: Wiley.
Bourdieu, P. (1999). Language and symbolic power. W: A. Jaworski, N. Coupland (red.), The discourse reader (ss. 502–513). London - New York: Routledge.
Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J.C. (1990). Reproduction in education, society and culture. London - Newbury Park - New Delhi: Sage Publications.
Bourdieu, P., Wacquant, L.J.D. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Campbell, M.L., Gregor F.M. (2004). Mapping social relations: A primer in doing institutional ethnography. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.
Connell, R. (2013). Uomini, maschilita e violenza di genere [Men, masculinity and gender violence]. W: S. Magaraggia, D. Cherubini (red.), Uomini contro le donne? Le radici della violenza maschile [Men against women? The roots of male violence] (ss. 5-19). Novara: UTET (Unione Tipografico Editrice Torinese).
Harré, R. (2012). Positioning theory: Moral dimensions of social-cultural psychology. W: J. Valsiner (red.), The Oxford handbook of culture and psychology (pp. 191–206). New York: Oxford University Press.
Harré, R., van Langenhove, L. (red.) (1999). Positioning theory: Moral contexts of intentional action. Oxford - Malden: Blackwell.
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London - New York: Longman.
Fairclough, N. (2006). Language and globalization. London: Routledge.
Fairclough, N. (2010). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London: Longman.
Fairclough, N. (2015). Language and power. London: Routledge.
Foucault, M. (1972). The archaeology of knowledge. London: Tavistock Publications.
French, J., Raven, B. (1959). The bases of social power. W: D. Cartwright (red.), Studies in social power (ss. 150-167). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Nye, J. (2004). Soft power: The means to success in world politics. New York: Public Affairs Press.
Odrowąż-Coates, A. (2017a). Revisiting power and supremacy in the post-colonial world: Globalization as a refined phase of colonization. W: A. Odrowąż-Coates, S. Goswami (red.), Symbolic violence in socio-educational contexts: A post-colonial critique (ss. 13-23). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo APS.
Odrowąż-Coates, A. (2017b). Peaceful expansion of English language in Europe: A tool of integration or quiet colonization? Multicultural Studies, 3(1), 115-126. DOI: 10.23734/mcs.2017.1.115.125.
Odrowąż-Coates, A. (2018a). Neoliberalna, globalna twarz rządomyślności – anglojęzyczna przestrzeń ekskluzji/inkluzji społecznej [Neoliberal, global face of governmentality - English based space of social exclusion/inclusion]. Miscellanea Anthropologica et Sociologica, 19(3), 91-110. DOI: 10.26881/maes.2018.3.07.
Odrowąż-Coates, A. (2018b). Soft power of language in social inclusion and exclusion and the unintended research outcomes. Language, Discourse and Society, 6(2), 15-30.
Odrowąż-Coates, A. (2019). Socio-educational factors and the soft power of language: The deluge of English in Poland and Portugal. Lanham: Lexington Books.
Odrowąż-Coates, A. (2020). Chaos theory and the neoliberal English-based dimension of the Polish higher education reforms 2018/2019. Education As Change, 24(1). DOI: 10.25159/1947-9417/5913.
Smith, D.E. (2005). Institutional ethnography: A sociology for people. Lanham: AltaMira Press.
Smith, D.E. (red.) (2006). Institutional ethnography as practice. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top