Fighting Words: Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Asia

Fighting Words: Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Asia

by Michael E. Brown
     
 

Language policy is a sensitive issue in most countries. In countries where more than one language is spoken -- the vast majority -- language policies affect the ability of individuals and groups to participate in government, to be treated fairly by governmental agencies, to have access to government services, to take advantage of educational opportunities, and to

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Overview

Language policy is a sensitive issue in most countries. In countries where more than one language is spoken -- the vast majority -- language policies affect the ability of individuals and groups to participate in government, to be treated fairly by governmental agencies, to have access to government services, to take advantage of educational opportunities, and to pursue economic success.Language policies also affect the prospects for survival of ethnic groups that define themselves on the basis of language. Assimilationist policies can threaten the existence of minority groups as distinct entities. Accommodationist policies might allow many ethnic groups to flourish but weaken national unity. In many countries,
disputes over language policies have led to ethnic tensions and, in some cases, to violent ethnic conflicts.This book analyzes the impact of different kinds of language policies on ethnic relations in fifteen multiethnic countries in Asia and the Pacific. The analyses include discussion of the origins of different language policies and of how the policies have evolved over time. The book develops policy recommendations, both for individual countries and in more general terms.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262523332
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/29/2003
Series:
Belfer Center Studies in International Security
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction1
Ch. 1Language Policy and National Development in India21
Ch. 2The Politics of Language Policy in Pakistan51
Ch. 3Language, Identity, and the State in Bangladesh81
Ch. 4Ethnolinguistic Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka105
Ch. 5Language Policy in Modern Burma143
Ch. 6The Politics of Language in Thailand and Laos177
Ch. 7Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Vietnam211
Ch. 8The Politics of Language Policies in Malaysia and Singapore239
Ch. 9Language Policy and the Promotion of National Identity in Indonesia263
Ch. 10Harmonizing Linguistic Diversity in Papua New Guinea291
Ch. 11Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in the Philippines319
Ch. 12The Evolution of Language Policies in China353
Ch. 13The Evolution of Language Policies and National Identity in Taiwan385
Ch. 14Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Asia413
Suggestions for Further Reading449
Contributors463
Index467
About the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs483

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