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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

versão impressa ISSN 0102-6909versão On-line ISSN 1806-9053


ORTIZ, Renato. Social sciences and the english language. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2004, vol.19, n.54, pp.5-22. ISSN 0102-6909.

The article analises the predominancy of the English language in the globalization context, particularly the implications related to the social sciences. It first makes a critical analysis of the literature elaborated by linguists concerning the expansion of the language in the contemporary world, focusing on the evolution of English from an international to a global language. It then discusses the supremacy of English both in natural and social sciences. The central argument is that such scientific practices are distinct, i.e., having English as lingua franca for natural sciences will make it impossible to have it doing so in the human sciences ambit. Assuming that the construction of the social object is achieved through the language, being it also referred to a specific historic-geographic context, the making of the social sciences must keep several languages in the process. The imposed prevalence of a language happens due to a power hierarchy in the linguistic métier, within which there has been an erroneous nearing between the ideas of universal and global.

Palavras-chave : Globalization; Modernity; Culture; National identity.

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