'Democracy’ as ideology in education: Tracing indexicality through conflict, place and communication

Ashley Simpson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Bakhtin’s work on heteroglossia (1981) and sociolinguistic approaches to indexicality (Blommaert, 2010) combined provide a framework to assess discourses and articulate the relationships between meta-discourses and individual utterances about democracy. ‘Democracy’ as ideology in education illustrates an antagonistic relationality between the self and the other. The semiotics of place[s] and the intersection of place, conflict and communication offer a juncture to explore the sociolinguistic construction, negotiation and performativity of democracy discourses in education. The author shows the engendering of a type of ideological academic discourse within education that can lead to othering. The place analysed is the European Democratic Education Community (EUDEC) at the World Forum for Democracy 2016. Simpson indicates why it is important to detect and prevent discourses that can (re)produce othering.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Nexus among Place, Conflict and Communication in a Globalising World
EditorsPauline Collins, Victor Igreja, Patrick Alan Danaher
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789811359255
ISBN (Print)9789811359248
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019


  • Bakhtin
  • Blommaert
  • democracy
  • indexicality
  • othering
  • semiotics


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