The Monolingual Problem of the Modern Nation-State: Debunking the Myth of Plurilingualism and Its Politico-Ideological Violence (72597)

Session Information: Interdisciplinary Arts, Media & Culture
Session Chair: Bothepha Mosetlhi

Thursday, 21 September 2023 15:35
Session: Session 4
Room: Eixample
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

Language plays an indispensable role in the construction of national identities. The dominant national group historically used violence in asserting their cultural hegemony. After WWII, the modern nation-states found the former monolingual ideology incompatible with liberal values and adopted plurilingualism as their governing principle. The rhetoric of inclusion in current multinational democracies gives the impression that national and regional languages are now on equal footing, yet, beneath this new-found philosophy of diversity, violence against regional languages persists. In this project, I wish to reveal the unexpressed hierarchy between national and regional languages and bring to light the violent reality it reinforces with the case of linguistic conflict in Valencia. Drawing Young and Fraser’s works on politics of difference and recognition as my theoretical framework, I conceptualize linguistic hierarchy not merely as the result of historical violence but as a case of relational injustice that has been consolidated via institutional linguistic practices in a well-intentioned liberal society. In a globalized economy that has grown increasingly information-based, regional languages become steadily more vulnerable when confronted by the linguistic domination from both the state and global languages. Given that language plays a complex role in both the cultural and economic domains of society, I argue that linguistic injustice must be tackled from both angles of recognition and redistribution. The revival project of regional languages must challenge the structured linguistic oppression in a plurilingual system via responsible language management and an alternative notion of citizenship based on mutual respect.

Jiayan Sheng, Luiss University, Italy

About the Presenter(s)
Mr Jiayan Sheng is a University Postgraduate Student at Luiss University in Italy

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00