Language Ideologies in a Business Institute: A Case Study of Linguistic and Socio-Cultural Realities

Aliya Sikandar, Nasreen Hussain


This case study explored the English language related ideologies of different management groups and student representatives at a business school of Karachi, Pakistan. The study tried to bring an insider’s perspective to the causes of certain language ideologies prevalent in the business school’s social structure, and the role language played in power relations between the main actors of the community. For this purpose, a sample of four research participants from each of the focussed management cadres was selected for study. Analysis of semi-structured interviews, administered on the participants, was done using Fairclough’s (2009) dialectical-relational approach of critical discourse analysis (CDA). The study suggested the prevalence of certain language ideologies that were manifested and latent in the discourses of the participants. These deeply rooted beliefs were predominantly patterned by centering authorities: language became a means for those in power to sustain their hegemony and maintain social stratification in society. Functionally, English played a stratifying role, and also was found to be extensively perceived as a commodity, a product that is to be acquired or attained. The study realised this social wrong of inequity and divide in a particular community, and on the basis of the findings, recommends a reorganizing of social structures into those of more inclusive and democratic ones for the operationalizing of equality and fairness in social practices.


dialectical-relation, entextualization, interdisciplinary, language ideologies, semiosis

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License