SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Book Talk: "Language, Society, and the State: From Colonization to Globalization in Taiwan"

Dr Gareth Price

Date: 10 February 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 10 February 2021Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Talk

This session will be held using Microsoft Teams.


Taiwan’s rich history – from the island’s colonization in the seventeenth century to its experiences of contemporary globalization – can be narrated through the often tumultuous relationships between language and politics. This book reconstructs this history by locating language firmly in its political and sociological contexts, deploying theoretical approaches from sociolinguistics and political sociology in order to develop a novel “political sociology of language”. As such, the book illustrates how language mediates interactions between society and the state, and becomes politicized as a result; how language, politics, and power are intertwined processes; and how these processes are not isolated in institutions, but socially embedded.

Language Society and the State Book Cover


Gareth Price Profile

Gareth Price received his PhD from the University of Essex in 2009. At Duke University, he teaches in the Linguistics Program, and is also a faculty member of the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute. In addition to this book, he has written on various aspects of language and politics in Taiwan, including neoliberalism and English-language teaching, and language policy and transitional justice. His current research project investigates discourses of both privilege and precarity among so-called “expats” on the island.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

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