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ERIC Number: EJ925677
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Narrating Linguistic Conflict: A Storytelling Analysis of the Language Conflict in Belgium
De Keere, Kobe; Elchardus, Mark
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v32 n3 p221-234 2011
Few studies have addressed the question how the two main linguistic groups in Belgium (French and Flemish speakers) code each other. The research reported in this article is based on a storytelling forum of 56 persons that gathered five times. The storytelling sessions yielded 91 different stories about living in a bilingual society. These were analysed by two independent analysts, using the actantial scheme of Greimas. Five common scenarios were uncovered. These are clearly marked by the history of linguistic politics in Belgium. The Flemish scenarios are marked by a romantic nationalism, which views a nation as an emanation of a cultural specificity of which language is an important, albeit not the sole, element. The stories provide a macro-micro link, bridging an historical trajectory and its view of nation building, to stories about encounters with the linguistically other. The French scenarios show a more individualistic approach, considering inter-linguistic encounters as a setting in which a merely practical problem arises that can easily be solved when the one who speaks the two languages is willing to use the language of the other. In this way, the historically grown political positions of the two groups are "scenariorized" into stories that people experience as lived experiences. (Contains 1 table and 3 notes.)
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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: Belgium