The Banalization of English in Denmark

Purpose: The feasibility support is applied for in order to discuss and be advised on whether
1) using the web as a ‘site’ is methodologically useful, and
2) how to operationalize this.

The project support is applied for in order to collaborate with an expert on accessing, mapping and analyzing data if  the feasibility of such a project is positive.

Support Type: Feasibility

Description: The project aims to investigate how English has become deeply embedded into Denmark’s language ecology and how this has resulted in a form of banalization. Processes of banalization involve rendering specific phenomena that were earlier associated with elites or experts as ‘common knowledge’ or the ‘everyday, common experience’ of many. The development of the Internet as a space for the public participation of heterogeneous people and communities has been a key contributing factor to such banalization.

The research inquiry focuses on
1) tracing the historical development of how English is perceived and used in the domain of cultural and creative industries;
2) the reasons, opinions and arguments that surround this polycentric development;
3) the impacts and implications these have for global language ideologies, language practices; national language policies; and for Danish as the language of national belonging and identity.

The project uses data in the form of written opinions, comments and arguments as well as visual representations available on online community platforms, blogs, discussion threads, online newspapers, magazines, and organizational websites in the archived web. It also considers the methodological opportunities and challenges posed by big data compared to the small data that research in the humanities continues to appreciate.

Project Team:

Ushma Chauhan Jacobsen, Associate Professor
Department of English Business Communication, Aarhus University