Neologisms and Social Transformations in the 21st Century: Language as a Driving Force for Societal Changes
Pagán Motos, Juan Carlos
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The multiple transformations that take place in the Western societies during the present century affect various spheres of society such as domestic politics, international relations, economics, gender issues, questions under social policies as attention to disability, environmental concerns, and technological innovations among others. National governments and supranational institutions as United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), as executive authorities to varying degrees, represent the main agents of social change. But in the emergence of a climate of public opinion favourable to law and policy development different actors with opposing interests come into play: political parties, economic agents, mass media, foundations, social movements, or sectorial associations, that is, a broad range of stakeholders that reflects the pluralism characteristic of democratic societies. At times, this wide spectrum of actors uphold their positions through new terms and expressions, neologisms, which, even if are ignored by national authorities responsible for overseeing languages, may be accepted by the majority of the community. Therefore, language through the coining of neologisms is conceived not only as a mediator between individuals and new realities, but mainly as a tool for social transformation by all actors participating in public arena.