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The question of linguistic minorities and the debates on cultural sovereignty

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When observing certain global debates in recent decades on the defence of national cultural and linguistic spaces, one finds what seems to be a paradox: states that were historically constructed by homogenizing cultures and stifling languages in their territory (even states that were until recently accused of promoting cultural imperialism), now seem to be resorting to defensive arguments traditionally used by threatened minorities. This reaction is based on the perception that flows linked to globalization, migratory movements and the development of telecommunications are threatening the linguistic and cultural space of the nation, and therefore the nation itself, and could thus suggest a confluence of arguments between states and minorities. As in any paradox, we are not only faced with statements that apparently depart from common sense, but instead with a complex reality, whose understanding poses a challenge. In this article, we will try to analyse, from the point of view of the linguistic minorities, the limits of the arguments wielded by the states in defence of their national space, as well as the possibilities those minorities have of resorting to the discourses constructed at a global level in defence of diversity.
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Keywords: NWICO; cultural exception; diversity; language ideology; minority languages; nation-building

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the Basque Country

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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