Invitation to e-seminar “Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice”

By May 4, 2016News


The Linguistic Ethnography Forum will host a free e-seminar devoted to Ingrid Piller’s new book Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice: An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics. Please join us for this opportunity to discuss the book with the author and a group of leading international scholars.

What: An email-based presentation and discussion of Chapters 1 and 2 of Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice
When: May 25: Distribution of reading materials; June 01: E-Seminar opens; June 21: E-Seminar closes
Where: The Linguistic Ethnography Forum mailing list
How: Simply sign up to the Linguistic Ethnography Forum mailing list at in order to participate
Who: Professor Ingrid Piller as speaker; Dr Huamei Han as discussant; Livia Gerber as moderator; and the list members, including leading international experts in Linguistic Ethnography

Ingrid Piller, Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice, Oxford University Press, March 2016

Ingrid Piller, Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice, Oxford University Press, March 2016

Linguistic Ethnography Forum

  • The Linguistic Ethnography Forum (LEF) brings together researchers conducting linguistic ethnography in the UK and elsewhere. It seeks to explore a range of past and current work, to identify key issues, and to engage in methodologically and theoretically well-tuned debate.
  • Linguistic Ethnography holds that language and social life are mutually shaping, and that close analysis of situated language use can provide both fundamental and distinctive insights into the mechanisms and dynamics of social and cultural production in everyday activity.
  • LEF is a Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL).
  • LEF hosts a free annual e-seminar open to all list members at

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

Linguistic diversity is a universal characteristic of human language but linguistic diversity is rarely neutral; rather it is accompanied by linguistic stratification and linguistic subordination. Ingrid Piller’s new book Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice employs a case-study approach to real-world instances of linguistic injustice in liberal democracies undergoing rapid change due to high levels of migration and economic globalization. Focusing on the linguistic dimensions of economic inequality, cultural domination and imparity of political participation, this book offers a detailed examination of the connection between linguistic diversity and inequality in domains critical to social justice such as employment, education, and community participation.

The e-seminar will use Chapter 1 (“Introduction”) and Chapter 2 (“Linguistic Diversity and Stratification”) as a starting point for the discussion.

Special features of the book

  • Prompts thinking about linguistic disadvantage as a form of structural disadvantage that needs to be recognized and taken seriously, and that warrants a serious public debate as to how it can best be mitigated
  • Includes case studies from around the world
  • Offers a conversational approach inviting readers to engage with linguistic diversity and social justice through the online forum Language on the Move

Advance praise

“This is a serious book on a serious subject. In a globalized world whose rhetoric celebrates linguistic diversity, Ingrid Piller shows that the reality is one of systemic inequality and disadvantage—and makes a strong argument that linguistic questions should figure prominently on the social justice agenda in the twenty-first century.” (Deborah Cameron, Professor of Language and Communication, University of Oxford)

“A vivid, powerful, and sober analysis of how language serves to entrench injustice and create indefensible discrimination. Piller’s wide-ranging book should inspire and shock both the general reader and the research world.” (Robert Phillipson, Professor Emeritus, Copenhagen Business School)


A Google preview of Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice is available here.

Discount for e-seminar participants

Order online at and enter promotion code AAFLYG6 to receive a 30% discount! Paperback $29.95 $20.97 // £19.99 £13.99

Ingrid-PillerIngrid Piller

Ingrid Piller is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research expertise is in Intercultural Communication, the Sociolinguistics of Language Learning and Multilingualism, and Bilingual Education. She serves as editor-in-chief of the international sociolinguistics journal Multilingua and curates the sociolinguistics portal Language on the Move.

Huamei_HanHuamei Han

Huamei Han is Associate Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. Her research centres on language learning, multilingualism, and socioeconomic inclusion of linguistically marginalized individuals and groups in globalization. She has researched language learning among adult immigrants in east Canada, multilingual practices among youths at minority churches in west Canada, and grassroots multilingualism emerging in the context of China-Africa trade migration.

LGerberLivia Gerber

Livia Gerber is a PhD student in the Linguistics Department at Macquarie University. Her research interests are in bilingual education, intercultural communication, and the relationship between language practices and language policies. Her PhD project examines the language learning experiences of German working-holiday makers in Australia.

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