Latest Issue: Vol 4, No 1 (2020): Special issue: Indexing gender, culture and cognition RSS2 logo

Journal of Language and Discrimination


Isabelle van der Bom, Chemnitz University of Technology
Laura Paterson, The Open University

Book Review Editor

Stephen Pihlaja, Newman University

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Stephen Pihlaja
Faculty of Arts, Society & Professional Studies
Newman University
Genners Lane, Bartley Green
Birmingham B32 3NT


Discrimination is an important research topic in a large number of diverse but related fields, including linguistics, law, anthropology, sociology and psychology. This complex, multidisciplinary research topic often has a strong focus and concern with language.  However, at the moment, theorists and practitioners publish their work in different journals, such as Gender and Language, Journal of Language and Sexuality, Disability Studies, and there is little in the way of intellectual crossover or multidisciplinary work.  We argue that the Journal of Language and Discrimination will appeal to those who are working on linguistic discrimination across a wide range of fields. The Journal will include original multidisciplinary research papers and reviews from diverse fields, including linguistics, education, law and criminal justice, anthropology, sociology, psychology, feminism, queer theory, disability studies and race studies.

Discrimination is often intimately linked to language. Verbal exchanges may be seen to embody discriminatory uses of language, and linguistic features often play an important role in reproducing, maintaining or subverting systems of discrimination. An alleged discriminatory event may, for instance, be played out discursively in legal rulings, print and broadcast media and social media, creating a complex picture of linguistic patterns and discourse strategies.

Analysing the linguistic strategies of such an event allows for a more comprehensive understanding of discrimination and the actors involved, and goes some way towards understanding the impact of discriminatory incidents in context and in society more generally. There is a struggle over language about whose meaning of a term is accepted or who gets to name someone in a particular way, whose perspective is authorised, and it is this struggle over language which will be investigated: the process of naming an event as discriminatory and having that naming authorised, or challenged; the effects of discrimination on individuals and groups; resistance to discrimination.

The journal focuses on the shaping effect of language in situations of discrimination, but will also comprise research on language ideology and language-focused discrimination; i.e. discrimination towards a language, or towards users of a particular language variety. The Journal of Language and Discrimination will be able to provide a unique platform to broadcast the diversity and interdisciplinarity of research on language and discrimination, whilst maintaining a unifying focus. As such, it will allow for the development of new understandings and new approaches to the study of language and discrimination.

Special Issues and General Issues

The themes of the special issues might include: Language and ageism; Language and disability; Gender and language; Same sex  marriage and civil partnership; Racist language; Religious language discrimination; Legal perspectives on language and discrimination; Language and sexual orientation ; The Equality Act and language; Trolling; Offence; Political correctness; Drug/alcohol users and language;  Fat shaming; Language and social justice; Islamophobia ; Anti-Semitism in the UK; The Language of Terrorism; Standardisation, education and 2nd language learners; Migration policies and language analysis (LODA); Hate speech; Animal rights/primate campaigns and language; Dialect, accent and discrimination; Minority languages; Metaphors and discrimination; Challenging Linguistic stereotypes; Language and Class; Freedom of Speech; Disability and language.

The Journal of Language and Discrimination presents an exciting new platform to broadcast these important social issues. The close relationship between many of these forms of discrimination and its relation to language and social (in)equality makes this new project current and relevant. The goal of this journal is to produce a publication that is multidisciplinary, yet inclusive, and of a high scholarly standard. 


Publication and Frequency

Two issues per volume year, May and November (from 2017)

ISSN: 2397-2637 (print)

ISSN: 2397-2645 (online


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