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Social Currents in North AfricaCulture and Governance after the Arab Spring$
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Osama Abi-Mershed

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190876036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190876036.001.0001

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Thou Shalt Not Speak One Language

Thou Shalt Not Speak One Language

Self, Skill, and Politics in post-Arab Spring Morocco

(p.93) 6 Thou Shalt Not Speak One Language
Social Currents in North Africa

Charis Boutieri

Oxford University Press

It is the contention of this chapter that official promotions of multilingualism partake in a broader neoliberal state strategy to shield highly stratified and unequal economic interests by placing the heavy burden of global adaptability on individual speakers as students, laborers, and citizens. In its rhetoric, this strategy endorses individual multilingualism as an instrument for balancing out opportunity and access among the population. Policies on multilingualism reify previous hierarchies by recasting certain languages as those of modernity, opportunity, and progress within the actualities of global market capitalism. In sum, the chapter exposes current modes of discrimination that determine who is left out of national and global discourses on development. It also raises urgent questions about the possibility of public deliberation in an ostensibly developing and democratizing Morocco, questions that resonate with the wider Maghreb region and especially within the Algerian and Tunisian contexts. This chapter aims to probe the relationship between multilingualism and diversity with two aims: first, to examine the social impact of Moroccan multilingualism within the frame of global market capitalism, and, second, to use social experience to unsettle the assumed tautology between institutionalized diversity and liberal democratization.

Keywords:   Multilingualism, Diversity, Language policy, Discrimination, Maghreb, Morocco, Arab Spring, Arabization, Global market capitalism, Education

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