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Language trends: Reflexivity in commercial language policies and practices

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-10-23, 15:52 authored by Helen Kelly-Holmes
Financier, philanthropist and economist George Soros is not the first to have used or derived the notion of reflexivity (for example, Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and others have found it useful in their work).What is different about the approach of Soros is that he has used the concept of reflexivity to explain the workings of global markets, and for this reason his work seems to me to have particular potential for explaining language trends in the linguistic policies and practices of global marketers. Soros has challenged ruling economic orthodoxy by arguing that demand and supply are not given or objective, and far from determining how markets develop. Participants in economic processes inevitably and unavoidably shape and determine the outcome of those economic processes and also create the conditions for future development of those market processes. This particular insight, I would argue, could help us to understand and develop further the notion of normativity in‘global’linguistic practices and policies, particularly when linked to economic processes since “the self-validating capacity [of such processes] encourages trend-following speculation” (Soros 1994). We can equate the decisions of many global marketers to that of stock brokers, who largely act on their intuitions (linguistic intuitions), but who in turn create conditions for those intuitions to be successful now and in the future, in effect by creating language trends.

History

Publication

Applied Language Review;1, pp. 67-84

Publisher

Walter de Gruyter

Note

peer-reviewed

Rights

The final publication is available at www.degruyter.com

Language

English

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