Linguistic landscape and social equality in an ethnic tourism village in Guizhou, China

Feifei SHAN, Robert Damian ADAMSON, Chengyu LIU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter investigates the linguistic landscape in a typical ethnic tourism village in Guizhou Province, China, by focusing on the language choice and arrangement of the linguistic landscape and the attitudes of different groups toward the languages involved. The results are interpreted using the notion of cultural capital to show the relationship among various languages and their social status. The linguistic landscape provides a window for examining the social status and power relations among languages in this multilingual society. The study shows that the power and social status of these languages are different, which indicates that the cultural capital of these language communities is distributed unevenly. The ecology of languages in this multilingual society is also unbalanced. Most notably, the living space of the vernacular Miao ethnic language is squeezed, which considerably hinders not only its maintenance but also the sustainable development of the ethic tourism village. The research demonstrates that the relationship among linguistic landscape, cultural capital, and ecology of languages is multidirectional. It concludes that, by promoting multilingual education, the cultural capital of the ethnic language can be enhanced and the ecological balance of languages can be redressed, thus improving the social status and vitality of the ethnic language. Copyright © 2019 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation, ethnicity and equity in the multilingual Asian context
EditorsJan GUBE, Fang GAO
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811331251
ISBN (Print)9789811331244
Publication statusPublished - 2019


cultural capital
social status
sustainable development
moral philosophy


Shan, F., Adamson, B., & Liu, C. (2019). Linguistic landscape and social equality in an ethnic tourism village in Guizhou, China. In J. Gube & F. Gao (Eds.), Education, ethnicity and equity in the multilingual Asian context (pp. 51-67). Singapore: Springer.