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IMPASSE IN MULTILINGUAL SPACES: POLITICS OF LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY FRANCOPHONE CONTACT ZONES

Dimitrova, Anna (2018) IMPASSE IN MULTILINGUAL SPACES: POLITICS OF LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY FRANCOPHONE CONTACT ZONES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the contemporary dimensions of the longstanding phenomena of (im)migration, displacement, and integration in spaces where French is a dominant language. I call these spaces Francophone Contact Zones (FCZs), drawing on Mary Louise Pratt’s research. I offer a differentiation of FCZs based on their scale and/or functionality. The notion of individual FCZs allows me to understand larger FCZs in terms of a manifold of individual cultural experiences.
I concentrate on the weaker parties in host societies, and I analyze the connections between language and space through an examination of the verbal communication of marginalized protagonists in a corpus of French and Francophone novels and films. My main argument is that pivotal public institutions and social spaces, such as courts, prisons, schools, postcolonial homes, and culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods, reflect and magnify the tensions of particular FCZs. I draw on Louis Althusser’s theorization of Ideological and Repressive State Apparatuses (ISA and RSA) to analyze bilingualism, translanguaging and silence. I show how RSAs such as courts and prisons use mastery and non-mastery of the dominant French language against newcomers in FCZs. In my analysis of public schools, I demonstrate how they shift from ISAs to RSAs when the authority of the teachers, as representatives of the bourgeois class, is challenged by the students. I analyze the hybridity of vernacular languages in the Paris’s Belleville neighborhood as an instance of the third space, a notion introduced by Homi Bhabha. I show that the languages of Belleville’s residents are signs of both belonging and exclusion. Finally, I argue that the problems of the large-scale FCZs are magnified in the private space of postcolonial homes. Indeed, such spaces can be the fiercest battleground of the clash between the culture of the host society and the traditions of newcomers. Ultimately, I show that the newcomers’ mastery of the French language in FCZs reveals two conflicting aspirations: hopes for integration and a desire to preserve their unique cultural identities.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dimitrova, Annaayd5@pitt.eduayd5
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPettersen, Davidpettersen@pitt.edu
Committee MemberMecchia, Giuseppinamecchia@pitt.edu
Committee MemberDoshi, Neildoshi@pitt.edu
Committee MemberCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.edu
Date: 31 January 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 November 2017
Approval Date: 31 January 2018
Submission Date: 30 November 2017
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 198
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Film Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Francophone Contact Zones, Immigration, Displacement, French and Francophone Film, Language and Identity, Language and Space
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 15:56
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 15:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/33530

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