Englishization, identity regulation and imperialism

Mehdi Boussebaa, Andrew D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 10 Citations

Abstract

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 organizational 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.
LanguageEnglish
Pages7-29
Number of pages23
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume38
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jul 2016
DOIs
StatusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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Macros
Imperialism
Identity work
Normalization
Surveillance
Globalization
International competitiveness
Language
Discourse
Work place

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • disciplinary power
  • Englishization
  • globalization
  • identity regulation
  • identity work
  • imperialism

Cite this

Englishization, identity regulation and imperialism. / Boussebaa, Mehdi; Brown, Andrew D.

In: Organization Studies, Vol. 38, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 7-29.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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