London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Linguistic Diversity and Social Cohesion

Author(s) Mattu, K.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
This paper aims to show the strong links existing between the respect and promotion of linguistic diversity and the social cohesion, making use of worldwide known linguists' contributions during a congress on Cohesion and Peace through the Dialogue, organized by the UNESCO Centre of Catalunya in March 2009. The process of building a European community necessarily involves the management of diversity; Europe is made by many, different cultures, religions, ways to organize the environment, languages. The purpose of constructing a cohesive society made by all these different elements should be pursued through an articulated and democratic education to the respect of this diversity, both in formal and informal contexts. In this sense, European institutions are making decisions toward the acknowledgement of cultural and linguistic diversity, but they are still just words, being practice really different. On the other hand civil society is getting more aware of the implications of linguistic diversity and of the need to manage it by changing the approach to languages and multilingualism. We have examples of good practices for the revival of endangered languages from all over the world, which can help us in thinking to what should be done in our societies in order to make all the different languages speakers (and thinkers) feel part of a common big community, the European one.

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