Dissertation: The Politics of Language in Quebec: Language Policy and Language Ideologies in a Pluriethnic Society

Astrid Alkistis Fleischer fleischa at georgetown.edu
Wed May 23 17:29:33 UTC 2007

A revised link appears at the Linguist List:

A. Alkistis Fleischer 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:43 pm
Subject: Dissertation: The Politics of Language in Quebec: Language Policy and Language Ideologies in a Pluriethnic Society

> The Politics of Language in Quebec:  Language Policy and Language
> Ideologies in a Pluriethnic Society
> Institution: Georgetown University Program: Department of Linguistics
> Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2007
> Author: Astrid Alkistis Fleischer
> Dissertation Title: The Politics of Language in Quebec: Language 
> Policyand Language Ideologies in a Pluriethnic Society
> Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
> Dissertation Director: Ralph W. Fasold Monica Heller
> The language question has been a major topic of debate in Quebec 
> since the
> 1960s. This study examines the politics of language in light of the
> increasing diversity of Quebec society, focussing on the state 
> discourseson language policy and planning during the last two 
> terms of the Parti
> qubcois (PQ) government (September 1994 - April 2003) and the 
> reactionsthese discourses have produced. Based on an integrated 
> analysis of
> government documents and archival data, the study explores the 
> connectionbetween language policy, language ideologies, and 
> broader sociopolitical
> developments in Quebec, particularly in the pluriethnic Montreal
> metropolitan region.
> The Quebec state tried to institute a discursive shift from an 
> ethnic to a
> civic nationalism after the 1995 referendum on sovereignty. This civic
> nationalism no longer defines itself as a French-Canadian 
> nationalism, but
> as a nationalism for all Quebecers. The Quebec state managed to 
> institutethis discursive shift but under conditions of 
> contestation. This thesis
> explores the Quebec state's struggles with the ideological 
> legitimacy of
> its language policy caught between the ethnolinguistic nationalism 
> thatwas the original foundation for legitimacy of the state and 
> its policies
> and the contradictions this has in a state that is trying to be open,
> inclusive, and democratic. Some particularly revealing moments 
> when this
> tension becomes evident are examined. The thesis is, then, about the
> struggles, the contradictions between ethnolinguistic minority 
> nationalismand inclusive democracy in a pluriethnic society.
> The study helps us understand the role played by language 
> ideologies in
> more general sociopolitical developments, conflicts, and 
> struggles. In
> Quebec, the debates about language are clearly political and are, in
> essence, debates about identity and the nation. Language policy and
> planning have to be seen as primarily political and ideological 
> endeavors.Language policy is a dynamic and dialogic process; it 
> evolves together
> with the state, civil society, and society at large. Various 
> social and
> political actors not only have participated in the language 
> ideologicaldebates, but also have contributed to the evolution of 
> Quebec language
> policy and planning during the period in question.
> http://linguistlist.org/issues/18/18-1564.html
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