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ERIC Number: EJ884497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
"Tell Me What You Speak and I'll Tell You...": Exploring Attitudes to Languages in the Ultra-Orthodox Community in Israel
Tannenbaum, Michal; Ofner, Hannah Esther
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v29 n6 p499-517 2008
This paper article on a study focusing on Israel's Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jews) community, exploring its members' perceptions of Hebrew, Yiddish and English in terms of the language's importance, usage, holiness and related emotions. Questionnaires were distributed to 180 participants from five prominent subgroups within the community. Analysis revealed significant differences in the participants' attitudes towards the three languages, showing preference for Hebrew and Yiddish above English in all dimensions explored. Differences between subgroups correlated with their stance towards the Israeli majority and vis-a-vis one another--the greater the level of segregation, the more negative their attitudes towards English and the more positive their attitudes towards Yiddish, with Hebrew somewhere in between for most groups. These findings reflect the community's attempts to build symbolic fences to sustain and foster segregation on the one hand, and their bonding with the historical heritage on the other. Gender differences also emerged with women, who function as change agents far more often, showing more favourable attitudes towards Hebrew and English than men. In sum, attitudes towards languages emerged as an interesting lens from which to learn about broader ideological world views, reflecting the tension and conflict between the inner community world view and the surrounding world. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel