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Call for papers: Language policies on social network sites

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Call for papers: Language policies on social network sites

Started by M Koole December 19, 2012 - 4:24pm

Call for papers: Language policies on social network sites

The journal Language Policy announces a call for papers for a thematic issue on language policies on social network sites.

This issue aims to bring together trends at the forefront of research on computer mediated communication (CMC) and language policy.  Research on language in the new media has been growing quickly in recent years, spanning a great range of online environments, including gaming, chat systems, discussion forums, media sharing sites and blogs.  Some of this research focuses on social network sites, but this has tended to concentrate mostly on language practices and discourses (e.g. code-switching, language play, identity construction) and not on the language policies that guide them. Meanwhile, the discipline of language policy in the past decade has developed research beyond official language policies of national governments to language policies occurring within less official contexts such as workplaces and homes, and formal and less formal models of language policy, also including 'language policing' initiated by individuals (Blommaert et al 2009).  Yet the media domain receives little attention in language policy research, especially with regards to recent developments in the new media, particularly social network sites.  Thus, this thematic issue aims to extend this research and to bring together studies on CMC and language policies that are relevant to both areas.

Social network sites are a particularly promising focus of research on language policy as these platforms provide a new mechanism and context for organising social groups around the purpose of communication.  They connect people across time and space, in configurations involving multiple modes of communication, such as wall posts, instant messaging, online games and personal messages.  They provide new agents with new roles and powers in regulating the language practices of others, and offer the possibility of drawing together individuals sharing interests that include   issues particularly related to language.  With this in mind, this thematic issue seeks to draw together research on a range of topics relating to language policies on social network sites, including:

  • language policies in different parts of social network systems, e.g. applications, group pages, individual pages;

  • language policy activity at different levels, from the macro level of the language policies of social network sites as corporations, to the meso level of language policies of groups, to the micro level of individuals' language policing of others, along with interactions between these levels;

  • language ideologies in relation to language policies on social network sites and how individuals try to influence language practices on these sites to serve their own interests;

  • dynamic processes of mutual influence between language policies on social network sites and the language practices of social network site users;

  • constraints on the development and implementation of language policies on social network sites due to the technical features of the social network interface;

  • the use of social network sites as a means of achieving language policy goals in off-line contexts, such as the promotion of minority languages or opposition to national language policies.

The thematic issue seeks to cover social network sites of diverse national origins, for example those originating from the US (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), China (e.g. Sina Weibo, Renren) and a number of countries in Europe (e.g. Hyves, Tuenti), and to include a range of national and linguistic contexts in which these sites are now used.  For the purpose of this issue, social networks are defined broadly to include both micro-blogging services (e.g. Twitter, Sina Weibo) and social network sites more strictly defined (e.g. Facebook, Hyves).

All papers will undergo full peer review. Those interested in contributing should submit a title and abstract (up to 300 words) to the guest editor of the thematic issue, Julia de Bres (<>), by 1 April 2013.  After an initial abstract selection process, authors will be invited to submit full papers for double-blind peer review by 1 October 2013.  The issue is envisaged for publication in late 2014.  For information about the journal and author guidelines, see:

Blommaert, J., H. Kelly-Holmes, P. Lane, S. Leppänen, M. Moriarty, S. Pietikäinen and A. Piirainen-Marsh (2009).  Media, multilingualism and language policing: an introduction.  Language Policy 8(3): 203-207.

Dr. Julia de Bres -
Research Fellow (sociolinguistics)

Laboratory of Luxembourgish Linguistics and Literatures University of Luxembourg Campus Walferdange Luxembourg

Note : I work from 7 :30am-3 :00pm Monday to Friday.  Outside these times you can email me, or call me on +352 4666449683.