NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED428932
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The New Mass Media and the Shaping of Amazigh Identity.
Almasude, Amar
This paper describes the Imazighen of North Africa, known in the West as Berbers; threats to their language and culture from schooling and the dominant Arabo-Islamic culture; and recent effects of mass media. As the indigenous people of North Africa, the Imazighen have been invaded frequently during the last 3000 years, but only the Arabs remained, along with their language and their religion, Islam. Given that Islam's sacred text, the Koran, is written in Arabic, the Imazighens' language, Thmazight (also known as Tamazight), has been considered illegitimate. As agents of the State, Moroccan schools dedicated themselves to homogenizing the population through promotion of Islam and Arabic, and indigenous students were forbidden to speak their language. Until the 1970s, Moroccan National Radio and Television had a monopoly on all media and encouraged an undignified cultural image of the Imazighen. The development of cheap audiocassette recorders gave Moroccans more control over their entertainment; facilitated interpersonal communication; and gave indigenous youth the opportunity to express their struggles with government, family, and self. Other forms of media influencing the Imazighens' identity and status were a scholarly history book affirming their separate identity, a missionary videotape about Jesus in Thmazight, hypermedia projects to promote maintenance of Thmazight and related instruction, and the Internet. A listserv and Web sites connect Imazighen from around the world and allow discussion of questions of identity and the implementation of Thmazight in education and technology. Contains 23 references and 25 related publications. (SV)
Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Morocco