American “prestige press” representations of the global hegemony of English
Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 161–180, May 2008
How to Cite
DEMONT-HEINRICH, C. (2008), American “prestige press” representations of the global hegemony of English. World Englishes, 27: 161–180. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-971X.2008.00550.x
- Issue online: 28 JUN 2008
- Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
- (Received 21 August 2006.)
ABSTRACT: An extensive body of scholarship exists on the complex ways in which various peoples, states, and regions outside core English-speaking countries are being affected by, and view themselves as being affected by, the global rise of English. However the different ways in which core country elites understand and represent their unique sociolinguistic position vis-à-vis the global ascendancy of English has received much less attention. This paper, as does the study whose results it summarizes, pays special attention to what Schiller (2000) has described as “the American situation” with respect to the global hegemony of English. It does so by way of critical interpretation of more than 200 accounts of the global spread of English published from January 1, 1991 to May 1, 2003 in five American-owned prestige press publications: the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Its overall conclusion is that the prestige press representations examined frame English in terms that largely allow Americans to view the rise of English, and their apparently limited role in this phenomenon, in primarily (though not wholly) uncritical, non-reflexive, positive, and magnanimous fashion.