Ideological Landscapes

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: School of Languages Linguistics and Film


The primary aim of this research will be to demonstrate how ideology both structures and is structured by the Linguistic Landscape (LL), and how the LL thus functions as a carrier for ideology. This idea encompasses - but is distinct from - that of language ideologies. Most LL research has approached the LL as "an important sociolinguistic factor contributing to the vitality of competing ethnolinguistic groups in multilingual settings" (Landry and Bourhis, 1997: 24), focusing on what the LL can tell us about competing languages or codes, and by extension competing (often ethnolinguistic) groups. This research would not only address "ideology" in the sense of a specific set of beliefs concerning the relative power relations between different languages or codes, but "ideology" in a broader sense, as the creation or imposition of this belief system - that is, the mechanism of ideology. This, it will be argued, is an inherent part of the LL and the relationship between the LL and ideology is one of mutual influence: the LL is both influenced by and simultaneously shapes the ideology of a given space, and an individual's experience of and social relations within that space.
Therefore, the fundamental question driving this research must be conceived of in two parts, or on two levels:
- Is it possible to elaborate some "theory of ideology" proper to the LL, which seeks to explain and investigate how the LL simultaneously structures and is structured by ideology (and ideological processes or mechanisms)?
- How does this manifest itself in the LL? In other words, is it possible to show that such a theory of ideology in the LL can offer insights into, among other things, conflict and/or competition between distinct ethnolinguistic or social groups?


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
1917976 Studentship ES/P000703/1 30/09/2017 30/12/2021 Louis Strange