Catalogue


Language, elites, and the state : nationalism in Puerto Rico and Quebec /
Amílcar A. Barreto.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1998.
description
x, 165 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0275961834 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1998.
isbn
0275961834 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
2047716
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [149]-157) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Amilcar A. Barreto is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-12:
According to Barreto, language has played a central role in the articulation of nationalist demands in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Canadian province of Quebec. In a succinct and readable book, Barreto documents parallel processes that led to their respective nationalisms and compares both their resistance to English language hegemony and legal and social challenges to the status quo. The author contends that in both places dominant elites have used English as a cultural marker in distinguishing the "in" and "out" groups within the social hierarchy. At the apogee of this hierarchy, English speakers control top positions and acquire higher social status, as English has been the dominant medium of government affairs, commerce, and social interactions at the highest level. Despite official bilingualism in Puerto Rico and Quebec and laws protecting the use of Spanish and French respectively, the linguistic hierarchy elevates English over other languages. The book ends with a suggestion that the hegemonic order based on the dominant place of English could be challenged in the future as nationalism intensifies simultaneously with movements for statehood (Puerto Rico) and sovereignty (Quebec). Recommended for public and academic libraries. C. J. Edie; University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œImpressive work that contrasts the national cases of Puerto Rico and Quebec; it illustrates the role of language use in the political game within social classes....Abundant theoretical discussion and valuable data....Highly recommended for scholars and researchers of the subject.'' Homines
"Impressive work that contrasts the national cases of Puerto Rico and Quebec; it illustrates the role of language use in the political game within social classes....Abundant theoretical discussion and valuable data....Highly recommended for scholars and researchers of the subject."- Homines
'œRecommended for public and academic libraries.'' Choice
"Recommended for public and academic libraries."- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
For decades the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and the Canadian province of Quebec have been riveted by the politics of nationalism, the question of their final status, and the protection of their local languages. In the name of cultural defense, the legislatures in San Juan and Quebec City have passed several laws focusing on protecting the vernacular. Barreto explores these two cases and challenges some general preconceived notions about nationalist movements. A common premise in ethnic conflict studies is that nationalism is caused by cultural traits, such as language or religion, or is a result of a region's subservient economic role vis-a-vis the country's core. However, Barreto contends that Puerto Rican and Quebecois elites turned to nationalism in reaction to their social marginalization and economic suppression. Anglophone elites in the U.S. and Canada established a hegemonic order making English a requirement for social and economic ascendancy. Shunned by the country's dominant group on account of their language, elites in Puerto Rico and Quebec took up the banner of nationalism attempting to establish a "counter-hegemonic" order. Thus, nationalism, Barreto contends, is an unanticipated reaction to the exclusionary attitudes and policies of one group against another. This analysis is important to political scientists, social scientists, and researchers involved with nationalism, ethnic conflict, and Puerto Rican and Canadian studies.
Unpaid Annotation
Challenging the assumption that nationalism is caused by cultural traits or a region's subservient economic role, this analysis looks at the growing nationalism debate in Puerto Rico and Quebec. Barreto contends that Puerto Rican and Quebecois elites turned to nationalism in reaction to a linguistically based hegemonic order that socially and economically marginalized them.
Long Description
For decades the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and the Canadian province of Quebec have been riveted by the politics of nationalism, the question of their final status, and the protection of their local languages. In the name of cultural defense, the legislatures in San Juan and Quebec City have passed several laws focusing on protecting the vernacular. Barreto explores these two cases and challenges some general preconceived notions about nationalist movements. A common premise in ethnic conflict studies is that nationalism is caused by cultural traits, such as language or religion, or is a result of a region's subservient economic role vis-à-vis the country's core. However, Barreto contends that Puerto Rican and Québécois elites turned to nationalism in reaction to their social marginalization and economic suppression. Anglophone elites in the U.S. and Canada established a hegemonic order making English a requirement for social and economic ascendancy. Shunned by the country's dominant group on account of their language, elites in Puerto Rico and Quebec took up the banner of nationalism attempting to establish a counter-hegemonic order. Thus, nationalism, Barreto contends, is an unanticipated reaction to the exclusionary attitudes and policies of one group against another. This analysis is important to political scientists, social scientists, and researchers involved with nationalism, ethnic conflict, and Puerto Rican and Canadian studies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Conflicting Approaches to the Study of Nationalismp. 13
Language and Elitesp. 31
Language and American Identityp. 47
Canada and the King's Englishp. 63
The Evolution of Puerto Rican Identity and Nationalismp. 77
Quebec's Distinct Society and Nationalismp. 97
Defending Spanish in Puerto Rico's Territorial Governmentp. 115
The Quebec National Assembly and the Promotion of Frenchp. 129
Conclusionp. 141
Bibliographyp. 149
Indexp. 159
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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