Title

The language of power and the politics of language in education: Politics, dominance, and social engineering in North Africa

Subject Area

French and Francophone Studies

Abstract

This paper explores the role of the early educated elites of colonized North Africa in the construction of identity and the politics of education. The emergence in the former colonies of new social classes is largely due to the systems of education and the administration introduced by the colonial powers. The most significant result of the newly introduced systems of education and administration is the advent of a social elite that is highly homogenous, politically shrewd, intellectually sophisticated, and administratively aware of the nots and bolts of how the state functions. Because these elites are trained in the same educational system, they tend to behave in a similar fashion. This presentation addresses the manner in which the educated elites influenced the ideological make-up of the nationalist movement in North African through the network of students’ associations in Europe like the Association of North African Muslims in France created in 1927. These elites were the product of policies like those championed by the French Resident General Lyautey. Lyautey sought to train a “transitional generation” who will take over power in Morocco, for example. The ideologies of these elites and their effect continue to reverberate in the political landscape today as the identity and culture debate takes shape.

Brief Bio Note

Dr. Ali Alalou is an Associate professor of French and Pedagogy in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Culture at the University of Delaware. He received his PhD. in French linguistics from the University of California at Davis. He teaches courses in French language, French linguistics, and pedagogy. His interests also include Afro-asiatic linguistics (Tamazight or Berber) and North African sociolinguistics.

Keywords

Language, identity, education, ideology, North Africa, Arabic, French, Tamazight

Location

Room 218/220

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

4-5-2018 5:15 PM

Embargo

10-8-2017

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Apr 5th, 5:15 PM

The language of power and the politics of language in education: Politics, dominance, and social engineering in North Africa

Room 218/220

This paper explores the role of the early educated elites of colonized North Africa in the construction of identity and the politics of education. The emergence in the former colonies of new social classes is largely due to the systems of education and the administration introduced by the colonial powers. The most significant result of the newly introduced systems of education and administration is the advent of a social elite that is highly homogenous, politically shrewd, intellectually sophisticated, and administratively aware of the nots and bolts of how the state functions. Because these elites are trained in the same educational system, they tend to behave in a similar fashion. This presentation addresses the manner in which the educated elites influenced the ideological make-up of the nationalist movement in North African through the network of students’ associations in Europe like the Association of North African Muslims in France created in 1927. These elites were the product of policies like those championed by the French Resident General Lyautey. Lyautey sought to train a “transitional generation” who will take over power in Morocco, for example. The ideologies of these elites and their effect continue to reverberate in the political landscape today as the identity and culture debate takes shape.