Language revitalization through a social movement lens: grassroots Galician language activism

O'Rourke, B. and Dayán-Fernández, A. (2024) Language revitalization through a social movement lens: grassroots Galician language activism. Language Policy, (doi: 10.1007/s10993-024-09687-6) (Early Online Publication)

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In this article, a social movement lens is applied to examine the dynamics of an urbanbased language revitalization movement in the Autonomous Community of Galicia (North-western Spain). The potential of Resource Management Theory is explored as a way of systematically analysing the dynamics of urban-based language revitalization movements. It does this by identifying factors which both helped fuel the emergence and growth of this Galician grassroots movement as well as those constraining its potential development. Drawing on in-depth interviews and observations collected over six months of ethnographic fieldwork in one of Galicia’s main cities, social movement theory is used to analyse the role of Galician social movement activists as social agents in shaping the success of their language revitalization initiative. We argue that a social movement lens provides a useful analytical toolkit to focus on the grassroots efforts of social agents involved in peripheral ethnolinguistic mobilization in minority language contexts such as Galicia. Ultimately, we aim to show that these social movement revitalization initiatives go beyond language as an object and are centred around language-based struggles which not only address strategy dilemmas but also scaffold social relations and ties among speakers as they mobilize within particular institutional fields.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The research reported in this article received funding from the Smithsonian Institute for Folklife and Heritage and was part of a larger research project entitled Sustaining Minoritized Languages in Europe (SMiLE). Data analysis and the writing up of this article was undertaken during a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship awarded to Bernadette O’Rourke in 2023 for the project entitled New Geographies of Language in Minority Language Sociolinguistics.
Keywords:Language revitalization, social movements, language activism, minority languages, new speakers, Galician.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Rourke, Professor Bernadette and Dayan-Fernandez, Dr Alejandro
Authors: O'Rourke, B., and Dayán-Fernández, A.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Hispanic Studies
Journal Name:Language Policy
ISSN (Online):1573-1863
Published Online:08 February 2024
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2024
First Published:First published in Language Policy 2024
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
316294New geographies of language in minority language sociolinguisticsBernadette O'RourkeBritish Academy (BRITACAD)MCFSS22\220065Arts - Hispanic Studies
308661Sowing the seeds at Semente: Grassroots revitalization and language activism in contemporary Galicia C17R10364Bernadette O'RourkeSmithsonian Institution (SMITHINS)N/AArts - Hispanic Studies