Sociolinguistics is concerned with how language is used to create value and social differentiation across different populations in several places around the globe. Key moments in the life of people, such as job interviews, committee appearances, exams and testing encounters at schools, can decide, on the basis of language use, the access that individuals may have to the job market, quality education or allocations and funding for social development. Those topics have been taken up by the approach called ‘the political economy of language’, in which Alexandre Duchêne’s work can be placed.
In this interview with Alexandre Duchêne, we discuss the current transformation of capitalist societies and its impact on linguistic practices and the refurbishment of discourses of multilingualism and diversity. Alexandre Duchêne examines the relationship between language and access to economic resources in order to reflect on how language participates in the production of social inequality.
Jorge Alvis and Lara Alonso