This Oxford Handbook challenges basic concepts that have informed the study of sociolinguistics since its inception in the 1960s. In 27 chapters, the book challenges the modernist positivist perspective of the field that has treated languages and speech communities as bounded and the idealized native speaker as the ultimate authority. Instead, it offers a critical poststructuralist perspective that examines the socio-historical context that led to the emergence of dominant sociolinguistic concepts and develops new theoretical and methodological tools that challenge these dominant concepts. The contributors to this volume take this critical poststructuralist perspective as a starting point for engaging in explorations of a range of sociolinguistic topics including language variation, language ideologies, bi/multilingualism, language policy, linguistic landscapes and multimodality. Each of the contributors provides a critical overview of the limits of modernist positivist perspectives on their topic and offer ways of theorizing and researching their topic in ways that are aligned with a critical poststructuralist perspective.
The book also provides a global perspective on these issues with contributors focused on North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Together, the interdisciplinary and global contributions reveal the limits of conventional approaches to sociolinguistics and offer a glimpse into directions for the future of the field.
Ofelia Garcia is professor in the Ph.D. programs in Urban Education and Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Langauges at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She has published widely in the areas of sociology of language, multilingualism, and bilingual education. She is the General Editor of The International Journal of the Sociology of Language, and co-editor of Language Policy. Nelson Flores is assistant professor in the Educational Linguistics Division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. His research involves the study of the historical and contemporary instantiation of raciolinguistic ideologies, where language and race are co-constructed in ways that marginalize racialized communities. He has published his work in numerous peer-review journals including Harvard Educational Review, TESOL Quarterly and International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Massimiliano Spotti is assistant professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. He is also deputy director of Babylon - Centre for the Study of Superdiversity at the same institution. His research tackles the theme of asylum seeking and identity construction through the analysis of social media influence on the doings of asylum seekers. He has published his work in several peer-reviewed journals including Linguistics and Education, Diversities, Journal of Language, Identity and Education, Applied Linguistics Review as well as co-editor of the Volume Language and Superdiversity (Routledge 2016).