OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

The Struggle for a Multilingual Future: Youth and Education in Sri Lanka

ISBN : 9780190947484

Price(incl.tax): 
¥15,246
Author: 
Christina P. Davis
Pages
216 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
Series
Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics
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In The Struggle for a Multilingual Future, Christina Davis examines the tension between ethnic conflict and multilingual education policy in the linguistic and social practices of Sri Lankan minority youth. Facing a legacy of post-independence language and education policies that were among the complex causes of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009), the government has recently sought to promote interethnic integration through trilingual language policies in Sinhala, Tamil, and English in state schools.

Integrating ethnographic and linguistic research in and around two schools during the last phase of the war, Davis's research shows how, despite the intention of the reforms, practices on the ground reinforce language-based models of ethnicity and sustain ethnic divisions and power inequalities. By engaging with the actual experiences of Tamil and Muslim youth, Davis demonstrates the difficulties of using language policy to ameliorate ethnic conflict if it does not also address how that conflict is produced and reproduced in everyday talk.

Index: 

List of Figures

List of Tables

Acknowledgments

Notes on Transcription and Transliteration

Introduction

School Segregation and Language-Based Ethnic Divisions

Teachers and Legitimate Tamil in a Multilingual School

English and the Imagining of a Cosmopolitan City

Peer Groups and Tamil Identity in and outside Schools

Tamil Speech and Ethnic Conflict in Public Spaces

Conclusion

References

Index

About the author: 

Christina P. Davis is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Western Illinois University.

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