Explore UCD

UCD Home >

Moran Nov 2021 Sergi Morales-Gálvez seminar


Fri Nov 26 2021 at 3pm: Dr. Sergi Morales-Gálvez (University of Limerick): Linguistic Domination: A Republican Approach to Linguistic Justice

This webinar has been organised by (opens in a new window)Dr Marie Moran, Director of the UCD Equality Studies Centre and Co-convenor of the PSAI series. If you would like to receive an invite, please email Marie ((opens in a new window)marie.moran@ucd.ie)


Linguistic justice is about the fair distribution of material and symbolic resources when dealing with linguistic diversity. However, no theory of linguistic justice has addressed the issue of linguistic domination. This phenomenon has been investigated primarily by sociolinguists working on how the linguistic choices of people are formed and how relations of power function in understanding those choices. Yet, no one has directly addressed the normative dimension of domination in the linguistic realm. Therefore, the fundamental questions I address in this paper are: what is linguistic domination, and when does it take place? To tackle these questions, I approach the republican tradition of thought because its primary concern is to face the problem of domination. The idea is to analyse the theoretical resources within this tradition of thought in order to reflect on linguistic justice and to explain what linguistic domination consists in. In this regard, I first provide a preliminary definition of the concept, arguing that there is linguistic domination whenever a person or group is subject to uncontrolled interference over their linguistic status, conditions and use by some other person, group or political institution. Second, I distinguish between different dimensions of linguistic domination, differentiating between domination exercised by political institutions (vertical linguistic domination) and domination exercised among individuals and groups (horizontal linguistic domination), with the aim to test when and how linguistic domination occurs. Third, and following Dorothea Gädeke, I make an important distinction when discussing about horizontal linguistic domination: namely between systemic (structural) linguistic domination and interpersonal (agential) linguistic domination. Finally, if I am right, and (as I will show) domination can be exercised in the linguistic domain, I would argue that any theory of (linguistic) justice should defend the ideal of freedom from linguistic domination as a normative requirement.

For more information please contact Dr Marie Moran (Email: (opens in a new window)Marie.Moran@ucd.ie)

Contact the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8198 | E: sp-sw-sj@ucd.ie |