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"Affirmed from under" : the Irish language education movement in Belfast

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"Affirmed from under" : the Irish language education movement in Belfast

Callahan, Kevin (1997) "Affirmed from under" : the Irish language education movement in Belfast. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, an exciting experiment in bilingualism and alternative education is taking place. In the midst of a war zone, a predominantly working class community has constructed its own education system based on the Irish language. Approximately one thousand children are currently doing their education through the medium of Irish in community-run schools. In addition, adult Irish speakers are building an Irish language infrastructure that creates "social territories" for the language. The movement's overall objective envisages the extension of Irish horizontally in space and vertically in time to make the language an everyday means of communication. This education movement has blossomed despite a hostile or indifferent British state, which has been grudging in giving an recognition or support. The present Irish language revival in Belfast represents a process of "decolonization", the breaking down of historically based relations of subordination, through the creation of alternative structures and the growth of an accompanying emancipatory world view. Popular involvement in committees, campaigns and language classes makes the movement an educational process on many levels beyond just learning Irish. The experience of the Irish language movement in Belfast offers a number of insights into the relation between language and identity, both at the level of the individual and the group. In addition, the language revival's interaction with the troubled political situation in which it takes place shed light on the potential for education as a vehicle for community and personal empowerment.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Callahan, Kevin
Pagination:v, 105 leaves : maps ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Dept. of Education
Date:1997
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hamalien, Arpi
ID Code:176
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:10
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:13
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