Englishization, identity regulation and imperialism

Boussebaa, M. and Brown, A. D. (2017) Englishization, identity regulation and imperialism. Organization Studies, 38(1), pp. 7-29. (doi:10.1177/0170840616655494)

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What are the power/identity implications of the increasing Englishization of non-Anglophone workplaces around the world? We address this question using an analytical framework that combines a focus on micro/meso-level processes of identity regulation with attentiveness to the macro-level discourse of English as a global language. Drawing on reflexive fieldwork conducted at a major French university, we show how Englishization is bound up with processes of normalization, surveillance and conformist identity work that serve to discipline local selves in line with the imperative of international competitiveness. Concomitantly, we also show that Englishization is not a totalizing form of identity regulation; it is contested, complained about and appropriated in the creative identity work of those subject to it. Yet, moving from the micro/meso- to the macro-level, we argue that Englishization is ultimately ‘remaking’ locals as Anglophones through a quasi-voluntary process of imperialism in the context of a US-dominated era of ‘globalization’ and ‘global English’. We discuss the theoretical implications of these insights and open some avenues for future research.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boussebaa, Professor Mehdi
Authors: Boussebaa, M., and Brown, A. D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Organization Studies
ISSN (Online):1741-3044
Published Online:31 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Organization Studies 38(1):7-29
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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