Minorites in a Democracy
Should our democracy fund elementary education for children of minority groups in their own language?
Many democracies have minority populations who speak a different language from the majority population. Issues involving language—particularly how it is used—often ignite conflicts between different cultural, religious, ethnic, or racial communities in a democracy. Language itself can become a powerful symbol of political as well as cultural identity. Sometimes schools become flashpoints for conflicts about language and identity. One challenge that many democracies face is whether to educate elementary students from minority groups in their own language or in the dominant language of the state.
Articles and Papers
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- Robeyns, Ingrid. “The Ingredients of the Belgian Cocktail,” Crooked Timber (blog)
- Sciolino, Elaine. “Calls for a Breakup Grow Ever Louder in Belgium,” (New York Times, 2007)
- “Switzerland – Educational System—Overview”
- Sussex, Roly,“The Languages of Kosovo,” Lingua Franca, Radio National (Australia, 1999)
- “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Article 22
- Van Parijs, Philippe. “Europe’s Three Language Problems,” prepared for Multilingualism in Law and Politics, R. Bellamy, D. Castiglione & C. Longman eds.,(c. 2003)
- Varennes, Fernand de. "The Right to Education and Minority Language." EU Map (2004)