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The Jacobin Republic and language rights. Ethnolinguistic mobilizations in France

Cole, Alistair Mark and Harguindéguy, Jean-Baptiste Paul 2013. The Jacobin Republic and language rights. Ethnolinguistic mobilizations in France. Regional & Federal Studies 23 (1) , pp. 27-46. 10.1080/13597566.2012.754357

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France is usually considered as the symbol of cultural unification and homogeneity. It is commonly (and, in part, correctly) assumed that the process of political centralization in France profoundly shaped the language preferences of citizens. Nevertheless, sociological surveys reveal a tension between the Jacobin Republican drive for uniformity and a more fine-grained empirical reality in the field of the governance of regional languages. Through the comparison of three case studies (Corsica, Brittany and Picardy), this paper reveals that the defence of lesser-used languages and regional dialects has produced an asymmetrical form of ethnolinguistic mobilization by social movements and political parties, which has been more or less credible depending on processes of institutionalization, actor-accommodation and the official recognition of the lesser-used language in question. Through focusing on the specific case of regional languages, the article leads us to examine not only the recent transformations of the French language policy model, but also to reconsider the nature of the contemporary French state.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: France, language, public policy, mobilization
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1359-7566
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 01:55

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