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Language and Identity Politics
A Cross-Atlantic Perspective
Edited by Christina Späti
228 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-942-2 $95.00/£67.00 Hb Published (November 2015)
eISBN 978-1-78238-943-9 eBook
“This is a very interesting and well-written volume that brings together a number of theoretical stances on multilingualism as well as empirically grounded case studies. The applied focus of examples from both North America and Europe ensure that the book will not be of interest to only linguists and policy-makers.” · Philip McDermott, University of Ulster
“This book is thought-provoking and thorough in its insights. It is a welcome addition to the existing literature on language and identity politics and introduces new case studies that have not been previously explored or compared.” · Bernadette O’Rourke, Heriot-Watt University
In an increasingly multicultural world, the relationship between language and identity remains a complicated and often fraught subject for most societies. The growing political salience of questions relating to language is evident not only in the expanded implementation of new policies and legislation, but also in heated public debates about national unity, collective identities, and the rights of linguistic minorities. By taking a comprehensive approach that considers both the inclusive and exclusive dimensions of linguistic identity across Europe and North America, the studies assembled here provide a sophisticated look at one of the global era’s defining political dynamics.
Christina Späti is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Fribourg and Dean of the Faculty of Historical Sciences at Universitäre Fernstudien Schweiz. Her research focuses on language politics in multilingual states, institutional and societal bilingualism, anti-Zionism and antisemitism, and 1968 in Western Europe.
Subject: Sociology General Anthropology
Area: Europe North America
Figures and Tables
Introduction: Language and the Rise of Identity Politics: An Introduction
PART I: LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY POLITICS: THEORY AND CONCEPTS
Chapter 1. Language and Collective Identity: Theorising Complexity
Chapter 2. The Politics of Linguistic Identity in Europe: Between the Expression of Power and the Power of Expressivity
Peter A. Kraus
PART II: LANGUAGE AND COLLECTIVE IDENTITY IN MULTILINGUAL STATES
Chapter 3. Language and Identity Politics in Belgium
Chapter 4. Plurilingualism and Identity Politics: The Case of Switzerland
Chapter 5. Languages and Collective Identities in Switzerland: The Case of Bilingual Cantons (Bern, Fribourg, Valais)
Chapter 6. Language Rights and Language Endangerment in Canada: The Case of Indigenous Languages
PART III: LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY POLITICS IN IMMIGRATION SOCIETIES
Chapter 7. Immigrants and the Reframing of Language and National Identity Politics in the United States
Ronald Schmidt, Sr.
Chapter 8. Challenges of Diversity: Language and Immigration in Switzerland
Chapter 9. Language and the Transformation of Identity Politics in Minority Francophone Communities in Canada: Between Collective Linguistic Identity and Individualistic Integration Policies
Conclusion: The Problematic Nexus of Language and Identity: Some Concluding Remarks
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