A distinction is introduced between globalization as a historical process, globality as its result at any given time, and globalism, which according to Ulrich Beck is “the view that the world market eliminates or supplants political action”. English, it is claimed, is rather the language of globalism than of globalization. In the discourse about the present dominance (or globality) of English, the term ‘hegemony’ is often used in a rather vague sense, almost synonymously with ‘dominance’. But hegemony is rather the organization of consent (following Gramsci). It contains an element of acceptance as well as one of dominance, and it rules by persuasion, not by force. As has been suggested for the analysis of political hegemony, it is also better not to focus too much on the hegemony of single nation states but to take into account the possibility of more complex, multi-centered hegemonic projects. Language hegemony may also be analyzed in terms of linguistic hegemonic projects which are not tied to a single-state hegemon as in classical ‘language imperialism’ analyses. Finally, a type of hegemonic discourse is discussed that bases itself on common sense and contributes to the organization of consent. This is illustrated with a few examples from recent Danish language policy discourse.
Språkvård Och Språkpolitik / Language Planning and Language Policy: Svenska Språknämndens Forskningskonferens I Saltsjöbaden 2008 /proceedings of the Swedish Language Council Research Conference in Saltsjöbaden 2008, 2010, p. 103-119