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

Leigh Oakes l.oakes at qmul.ac.uk
Thu May 24 09:08:54 UTC 2007

Hi Alkistis,

Congratulations on finishing your thesis. I'd love to read it. Does  
Georgetown U publish theses? if so, how could I obtain I copy?


On 23 May 2007, at 18:29, Astrid Alkistis Fleischer wrote:

> A revised link appears at the Linguist List:
> http://linguistlist.org/pubs/diss/browse-diss-action.cfm?DissID=17365
> 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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Dr Leigh Oakes
School of Modern Languages
Queen Mary, University of London
London E1 4NS
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 3128
Fax: +44 (0)20 8980 5400

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