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Buying into English Language and Investment in the New Capitalist World

ISBN-10: 082296001X
ISBN-13: 9780822960010
Edition: 2008
List price: $25.95
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Description: English has become the language of choice for global economic, political, and cultural exchange. Many developing countries (and, notably, many former Soviet bloc countries) have little choice but to ldquo;buy into Englishrdquo; as a path to  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 5/28/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

English has become the language of choice for global economic, political, and cultural exchange. Many developing countries (and, notably, many former Soviet bloc countries) have little choice but to ldquo;buy into Englishrdquo; as a path to ideological and material betterment. As Catherine Prendergast reveals, however, investing in English has not always been easy and has often disappointed expectations. Based on extensive fieldwork in Slovakia, Prendergast assembles a rich ethnographic study that records the thoughts, aspirations, and concerns of Slovak nationals, language instructors, journalists, and textbook authors who contend with the increasing importance of English to their rapidly evolving world. To chart this evolution, she examines globalization's past as well as its present. Through personal histories, she offers a rare glance at how the communist regime was forced to reckon with English's growing global stature. Prendergast contrasts these accounts with chronicles of adept multitaskers learning English during Slovakia's exhausting fast-track incorporation into the European Union and Western capitalism. She reveals how the use of English in everyday life has becomes suffused with the terms of the knowledge and information economy, where language is manipulated for power and profit. Buying into Englishpresents a fascinating study of how language lives in the imagination as much as in the world, an astute analysis of the factors that have made English so prominent and yet so elusive, and a deconstruction of the myth of guaranteed viability for new states and economies through English.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The First Language of Capitalism
Lingua Non Grata: English during Communism
Other Worlds in Other Words
"We Live and Learn"
Real Life in English
The Golden Cage
English: A Kind of Sport
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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