Raciolinguistic ideologies as experienced by racialized academics in South Africa

Lusanda Sekaja, Byron Adams, Kutlay Yagmur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


English remains a language of power in post-apartheid South Africa, providing access to goods, services, social status, and is indexical to White privilege. Raciolinguistic theoretical perspectives postulate that if “standard” English is used by racialized individuals, they are stigmatized as “language deficient’ and have fewer opportunities for inclusion and upward social mobility. In this study we examined the dynamics of raciolinguistic ideology and linguistic inequalities at
work. Thematic analysis of interviews with 18 racialized academics produced several themes indicating that these individuals need English to succeed but that they are also marginalized based on how they speak it. We argue that raciolinguistic ideologies in higher education should be addressed to create a more inviting atmosphere for academics of color.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102092
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Raciolinguistic ideologies
  • Racialization
  • Racialized Academics
  • Highere Education
  • South Africa
  • Higher Education
  • Standardization
  • English
  • Attitude
  • Language Diversity
  • Race
  • University
  • Labor


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