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'English as the Second Official Language of Japan?': Globalization, Hegemony of English, and Japanese National Identity
Unformatted Document Text:  English as the second official language 5 newspaper’s web-site. First, I explore the relationship between globalization and the hegemony of English, and clarify the notions of nation, national language, and national identity. Second, I explain a critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach that I employ for the analysis of the texts and why I use it. Third, taking into account the various contexts of the issue, I analyze the opinions of Japanese people about the proposal and examine the ways in which Japanese people express their national identity in this specific context. Globalization, Nation, and the Hegemony of English Globalization Globalization is a matter of the material, qualitative change of the world and also representation about the world. The term globalization came to be used during the second half of the 1980s and has acquired various meanings (Robertson, 1992, p. 19). Globalization is concerned with “a production of scale in which the global is represented as the fundamental level at which social process, economic policies and political futures must be understood” and also is “rooted in material processes of qualitative change in the global system whereby social relations across space are being integrated in more intensive and extensive ways” (Kelly, 1999, p. 395). The world economy has been always global (Wallerstein, 1974), and yet the material condition of the world today is different from that of the world, for example, one hundred years ago. We did not have PCs, the Internet, or commercial air flights in the early 20 th century. Today it has become far easier and more frequent for people around the world to move from one place to another and to communicate with people from different parts of the world. At the same time, how we understand and talk about the world is also different from how we did one century ago. Robertson (1992), for example, defines globalization as “the compression of the world and intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole” (p. 8).

Authors: Kawai, Yuko.
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English as the second official language 5
newspaper’s web-site. First, I explore the relationship between globalization and the hegemony
of English, and clarify the notions of nation, national language, and national identity. Second, I
explain a critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach that I employ for the analysis of the texts
and why I use it. Third, taking into account the various contexts of the issue, I analyze the
opinions of Japanese people about the proposal and examine the ways in which Japanese people
express their national identity in this specific context.
Globalization, Nation, and the Hegemony of English
Globalization
Globalization is a matter of the material, qualitative change of the world and also
representation about the world. The term globalization came to be used during the second half of
the 1980s and has acquired various meanings (Robertson, 1992, p. 19). Globalization is
concerned with “a production of scale in which the global is represented as the fundamental level
at which social process, economic policies and political futures must be understood” and also is
“rooted in material processes of qualitative change in the global system whereby social relations
across space are being integrated in more intensive and extensive ways” (Kelly, 1999, p. 395).
The world economy has been always global (Wallerstein, 1974), and yet the material
condition of the world today is different from that of the world, for example, one hundred years
ago. We did not have PCs, the Internet, or commercial air flights in the early 20
th
century. Today
it has become far easier and more frequent for people around the world to move from one place
to another and to communicate with people from different parts of the world.
At the same time, how we understand and talk about the world is also different from
how we did one century ago. Robertson (1992), for example, defines globalization as “the
compression of the world and intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole” (p. 8).


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