eCite Digital Repository

Language policy and the formation of national identity: diverse experiences


Bostock, WW, Language policy and the formation of national identity: diverse experiences, GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences, 5, (2) pp. 1-7. ISSN 2251-2853 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Author. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.5176/2251-2853_5.2.196


This article will examine some of the ways that political leaders attempt to create, control, and otherwise manage national identity through language policy. This appraisal will be assisted by some historical and contemporary case studies demonstrating the use of language policy in this process, drawn from the Third Reich and Nazi-occupied Poland, Sri Lanka, and pre- and post-majority rule South Africa. This article reaches the general conclusion that it is possible to influence the formation of national identity through language policy by using language to: (i) define the identity boundary, (ii) identify the nation through its prevailing ontology, and (iii) manage feelings - particularly fears, doubts, and uncertainties - for selected purposes. Whether a sense of national identity has been calmed or disturbed will have implications for order or conflict, peace or war, and accommodation or genocide.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:language, identity, language policy,Nazi Germany, Sri Lanka, South Africa
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Political science not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Bostock, WW (Dr William Bostock)
ID Code:114277
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-02-09
Last Modified:2017-06-27
Downloads:87 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page