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Journal

University of Pennsylvania

Algeria

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Debating Arabic: Governmentality And Language Controversy In Algeria, Gareth Smail Apr 2018

Debating Arabic: Governmentality And Language Controversy In Algeria, Gareth Smail

Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL)

In this paper, I examine how discourses of language and citizenship are intertwined in Algeria. While this issue is typically approached with an eye to how different linguistic groups compete for power within the domain of language policy, I use the framework of governmentality (Foucault, 1991) to show a more complicated picture. Specifically, I argue that political ideologies imply different conceptions of what it means to teach Algeria’s official language of education, Standard Arabic (alfuṣḥā). While nationalist ideologies envision an Arabic education tied to Islam and/ or the Middle East, neoliberal ideologies reject that model and argue for an ...