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Elites, Language, and the Politics of Identity
The Norwegian Case in Comparative Perspective
Elites, Language, and the Politics of Identity
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Gregg Bucken-Knapp - Author
SUNY series in National Identities
Price: $57.50 
Hardcover - 205 pages
Release Date: March 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5655-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5655-2

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 205 pages
Release Date: March 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5656-0
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5656-9

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Uses Norway to test the claim that elites are central to the politicization of linguistic conflict.

Why and when do linguistic cleavages within a nation become politicized? Using Norway—where language has played a particularly salient role in the nation’s history—as a case study, Gregg Bucken-Knapp explores these questions and challenges the notion that the politicization of language conflict is a response to language problems. He shows that political elites often view language conflict as a political opportunity, placing it on the policy agenda as an effective mobilizing tool to serve their own nonlinguistic political ends. Although language-oriented interest groups may fight to achieve desired language policies, they are generally unsuccessful when their preferences clash with the broader objectives of political elites. This book focuses on understanding just how language policies emerge.

“The desire to achieve congruence of language practice within the nation and to differentiate the national group from neighbours is common as new nation states attempt to achieve congruence of state and nation. Norway is a case for which there is clear documentation and where the process can be laid bare, and Bucken-Knapp has done this admirably.” — Journal of Sociolinguistics

"A fresh and original look at the Norwegian language situation with comparison to other linguistic communities. It should be of interest not only to scholars and students of Norwegian history and culture but also to all those interested in the interrelationship of language, politics, and society." — Solveig Zempel, editor and translator of In Their Own Words: Letters from Norwegian Immigrants

"
Bucken-Knapp's analysis of language politics provides many new insights, opens up the field for new research, and contributes to our understanding of the driving forces behind Norwegian language policy in its different phases. A refreshing and needed renewal of the scientific treatment of the internal Norwegian language struggle and official language planning policy." — Lars S. Vikør, author of The Nordic Languages: Their Status and Interrelations

Gregg Bucken-Knapp is Researcher in the Department of Political Science at Göteborg University and the coeditor (with Michael Schack) of Borders Matter: Transboundary Regions in Contemporary Europe.


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Table of Contents

List of Tables

Acknowledgements

1. Language, Politics, and Modern Norway

2. National Identity, Party Identity, and the Role of Nynorsk in the New Norwegian State

3. Language and Social Democracy in Twentieth-Century Norway

4. The Shifting Fate of the Sámi Languages in Modern Norway

5. Norway Compared: The Case of Belgian Language Politics

6. Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index



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