Tensions and conflicts related to linguistic identity and security are inevitable - even necessary - in liberal democracies. However, if conflicts related to language and identity negatively impact democratic participation, and lead to social fragmentation, civic withdrawal, and lack of trust in societal institutions, then the political system itself may become suspect and unstable. Written by experts from the fields of sociolinguistics, bilingual studies, political science/philosophy, and education, this volume provides a comprehensive picture of the current political, cultural and social factors impacting language policy in the United States and Canada. The chapters cover many aspects of social life in North America, such as immigration, bilingual education, heritage languages, and linguistic identity, and explore the challenges and set-backs, along with the many positive steps taken in recent years to advance the values of inclusion amidst diversity in a variety of contexts and domains in the United States and Canada.
James Tollefson - University of Washington
Stephen Henighan - University of Guelph, Canada