Multilingual Landscapes : The Politics of Language and Self in a South African Township in Transformation
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Much language planning and policy in recent years in South Africa tends to overlook linguistic situations and practices, and focuses on notions of top-down language policy and implementation. This does not fit easily with the current multilingualism dynamics of late post-modern societies, which are increasingly characterized by a culture of consumerism and politics of aspiration. Taking its point of departure from a critical analysis of linguistic practices, in the form of visual literacies (billboards) in a township in South Africa, this thesis aims to draw forth alternative approaches that focus on the notion of sociolinguistic consumption, politics of aspiration and stylization of self, as a means of addressing the linguistic situation, and highlighting implications for language planning and multilingualism.