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La construction identitaire en milieu plurilingue et pluriculturel : étude de la politique linguistique éducative des écoles européennes dans le contexte luxembourgeois

Abstract : This research is part of the wider study of how languages and cultures are perceived, and how they influence the identity positioning of social actors in a multilingual and multicultural context. More specifically, this study focuses on the European Schools and their students, the Eurostudents. This choice was motivated by the unique context these schools offer for studying the relationship between language acquisition premised on an intercultural approach on the one hand, and the identity positioning of students on the other. In sum, the point was to better understand and explain the notion of a “European identity” and to give more precise meaning to the notion of “Europeans” as conceived by the founders of the European Union such as Jean Monnet, all in the context of the European School in Luxembourg and the educational language policy it practises. I set out to study the linguistic, cultural, and social experiences of the Eurostudents and the cultural representations these engendered, both of their own culture and of other European cultures. I then tried to understand how the interactions among these elements affect the identity positioning of the Eurostudents and their relationship with Others. My methodology consisted of an empirical study whose ethno-sociological dimension was the most important one. This choice was motivated by the fact that cultural representation and the manner in which individuals, in this case the Eurostudents, interpret their linguistic and cultural experiences are culturally situated. I conducted an ethno-sociological investigation consisting of a combination of observation, interviewing, and analysis of documents. This allowed me to not only identify the cultural representations (through a detailed analysis of what the social actors said in the interviews), but also to situate these cultural representations in their sociocultural context. The study revealed new sociocultural representations and a novel typology of identity positionings on the part of Eurostudents the origins of which lie in the rather important number of language and cultural factors that affect the way these students perceive themselves and define their identity. I selected three identity positionings revealed by this new typology for wider discussion, including a “European identity”. My study confirms that the identity construction of the Eurostudents is a dynamic process, and my research also reveals that it is progressive, where the term “progress” symbolizes a certain transcendence of the intellectual barriers through which Others are perceived, which is a necessary condition for effecting a transition towards a “European identity”. My work also opens up new perspectives for further research on the thorny question of how identity is positioned in a multilingual and multicultural milieu, a question for the study of which the socio-psychological approach associated with Lev Vygotski seems to be the theoretically most promising one.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 4:43:10 PM
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Shafagh Shahabi. La construction identitaire en milieu plurilingue et pluriculturel : étude de la politique linguistique éducative des écoles européennes dans le contexte luxembourgeois. Sociologie. Université René Descartes - Paris V, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013PA05H013⟩. ⟨tel-00961260⟩



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