Supervisors: Professor Jan Kubik and Professor Riitta Valijarvi
Present status: PhD candidate
Working title of thesis: Shaping Socio-Political Reality through Discourses about Language. Language Ideologies in the Public Discourse in Poland from 1970
Research: In my PhD project I am looking at discourses about language in the public discourse in contemporary Poland, focusing on underlying language ideologies. I argue that discourses about language in Poland have played a pivotal role in major socio-political and cultural changes. I focus on three periods: communist (until 1989), post-communist (1989-2015) and the most recent (from 2015 onwards), and look at four different discursive fields in each of these periods: the political, academic, media discourse and common views. I ask: Why are certain language ideologies more salient than others in each of these periods? I define ‘language ideology’ as ‘a culturally based system of ideas and beliefs about language, the aim of which is to legitimise certain social order and certain authorities and to promote and/or protect the interests of specific social groups and/or individuals’. Ideologies are one of the phenomena comprising the symbolic aspect of culture, which in turn is one of the mechanisms of gaining, maintaining, and controlling power. Because language is a socio-political phenomenon that is related to identity, any discourse about it can be interpreted as fundamentally concerning other issues, or more precisely, other socio-political phenomena, such as the political system, national identity, or support for specific political affiliations.
Term 1: Tueday 2-3pm
Term 2: Friday 11am - Friday 12pm