Language and Social Justice in the United States
Linguistic justice is central to social justice. Yet it has largely been left out of the great expansion of academic research and programs intended to address social and racial inequalities on campus and in American society. In fact, while higher education institutions have supported antiracist and DEI initiatives, they have at the same time been active agents in the reproduction of linguistic inequality.
Language use is a highly politicized behavior, from the construct of a “standardized language” that many consider essential for writing and speaking in higher education to the language choices made in negotiating the administration of social and political justice.
The Summer 2023 issue of Dædalus on “Language and Social Justice in the United States” examines a wide range of language issues, from the societal impact of everyday linguistic comments to the legal outcomes of the language of legislative policies and courtroom testimony, where justice depends on linguistic accuracy and the linguistic credibility of witnesses.
At this conversation, guest editors of the Dædalus volume spoke about new research and actions that center linguistic justice.
The essays in the Dædalus issue are all available HERE on the Academy website.
The event included an ASL interpreter and closed captions. See the full transcript of the event.