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Language Policy in Practice: What Happens When Swedish IKEA and H&M Take ‘You’ On?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of MElbourne.
2011 (English)In: University and Diversity in Language Policy: Global Perspectives / [ed] Norrby, Catrin and Hajek, John, Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters , 2011, 242-257 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article examines the impact of language policies and their implementation in the corporate world in an increasingly globalised economy. More specifically, the article draws on examples from two large multinationals of Swedish origin: the furniture retailer  IKEA and the clothing company H&M. Both companies dictate linguistic behaviour, albeit to different extents, by promoting Swedish-style informal 'you' and related address practices, both internally among employees and externally in customer-related interactions, even in countries where such informality is not the traditional norm. The chapter documents how such practices are implemented and public reactions to them in a range of linguistic contexts and in different countries. It underlines the importance of who has the position of power in a particular situation and discusses the tension between global and local concerns in building a corporate identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters , 2011. 242-257 p.
Keyword [en]
language policy, multinational companies, IKEA, H&M, globalisation, localisation, internet, identity, address terms, informal language
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64229ISBN: 978-1-84769-446-1OAI: diva2:456325
Available from: 2011-11-14 Created: 2011-11-14 Last updated: 2012-01-04Bibliographically approved

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