Multilingualism, Cultural Identity, and Education in Morocco

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9780387239798: Multilingualism, Cultural Identity, and Education in Morocco

In this book, I attempt to show how colonial and postcolonial political forces have endeavoured to reconstruct the national identity of Morocco, on the basis of cultural representations and ideological constructions closely related to nationalist and ethnolinguistic trends. I discuss how the issue of language is at the centre of the current cultural and political debates in Morocco. The present book is an investigation of the ramifications of multilingualism for language choice patterns and attitudes among Moroccans. More importantly, the book assesses the roles played by linguistic and cultural factors in the development and evolution of Moroccan society. It also focuses on the impact of multilingualism on cultural authenticity and national identity. Having been involved in research on language and culture for many years, I am particularly interested in linguistic and cultural assimilation or alienation, and under what conditions it takes place, especially today that more and more Moroccans speak French and are influenced by Western social behaviour more than ever before. In the process, I provide the reader with an updated description of the different facets of language use, language maintenance and shift, and language attitudes, focusing on the linguistic situation whose analysis is often blurred by emotional reactions, ideological discourses, political biases, simplistic assessments, and ethnolinguistic identities.

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This book is an original contribution to the field of multilingualism and cultural identity. It investigates the ramifications of multilingualism for language choice patterns and attitudes among Moroccans. It focuses on the impact of multilingualism on cultural identity and education. It includes a debate on education and language planning policies in Morocco since independence. It reveals the complexity of post-colonial Morocco characterized by contradictory attitudes toward the languages in contact and toward language policy and education. It is of interest to students and researchers of sociolinguistics, cultural studies, anthropology and gender studies as well as for specialists of education and language policy/planning.

This book is unique in that it: is one of the few books published in English about language, culture and education in Morocco; is a thorough overview of the different views and studies of researchers; includes new data, new material and new interpretations of previous views and ideas; shows how postcolonial forces have endeavored to reconstruct the national identity of Morocco; assesses the roles played by linguistic and cultural factors in the development and evolution of Moroccan society.

About the Author:

Dr. Moha Ennaji is one of Morocco's leading sociolinguists, with research interests in cultural and gender studies, migration, human rights and civil society.  With a Ph.D. from the University of Essex in Education and Linguistics, he is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Letters, University of Fés, Morocco.  He was Chair of the English Department there from 1988-1994 and is presently the Director of the Doctoral Program in Gender Studies.  Dr. Ennaji is the author and/or editor of numerous books and articles on cultural identity, language and education, migration, civil society and women's issues.  His most recent articles are "The effects of Migration on Moroccan Women Left Behind" (Lisbon), and "Language Contact and Arabization in Morocco" published bu Curzon (US) in a book edited by Dr. Aleya Roushdy.  Dr. Ennaji has successfully organized many international conferences on civil society, women and education, sustainable development, and has actively participated in seminars and conferences in Europe, the USA, Africa and the Arab world.  he is currently doing research on the evolution of social policy in Morocco, within the research programme of the United Nations Research Institue for Development (UNRISD). His new co-authored book on Media and the Effects of Male Migration on Women in Morocco will soon be published by Afrique-Orient (Casablanca).  He is also the author of over 70 articles published in national and international specialized journals and newspapers.  In 1997, he was editor of Berber Sociolinguistics in the Maghreb, published by teh International Journal of teh Sociology of Language, Mouton de Gruyter.

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