Introduction: Global English and Social Justice

Hultgren, Anna Kristina (2020). Introduction: Global English and Social Justice. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(3) pp. 1–9.



The spread of English around the world is often wound up in discourses about equity, fairness and social justice. In other words, the rise of English to become the world’s most widely spoken language in the world often prompts questions about its impact on an equitable distribution of resources, opportunities and privileges. At the same time, however, recent sociolinguistic thinking appears to move away from language as the prime source of inequality, turning instead its attention to materiality and the political, economic and social conditions that produce inequality and injustice (Block et al. 2013; Flores 2013; Block 2014, 2018; Ricento 2015; Canagarajah 2017, 2018; Pennycook 2016, 2018; Aronin et al. 2018; Morales-Gálvez and Stojanovic 2017; Léger and Lewis 2017; Flores and Chaparro 2018; Martín Rojo and Del Percio 2020; and many others). It seems timely, therefore, to interrogate the nature of the relationship between the spread of English and social justice.

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