Critical LPP and the intersection of class, race and language policy and practice in twenty first century Catalonia

  • David BlockEmail author
  • Victor Corona
Original Paper


Language policy and planning (LPP) has always drawn on research and scholarship in education as well as the social sciences in general (in particular sociology). Social theory has also figured as an important source of ideas and concepts, and critical LPP has arisen as a distinct strand of inquiry since the 1980s (Tollefson, in Planning language, planning inequality: language policy in the community. Longman, London, 1991; Tollefson (ed) Language policies in education: critical issues. Routledge, London, 2013). More recently, critical LPP researchers have begun to turn to political economy, as a source discipline, and neoliberalism, as a baseline concept, in the study of LPP-related phenomena and practices in a range of contexts (Ricento 2015; Tollefson & Pérez-Milans 2018). This paper examines how a critical political economy-oriented approach may be applied in a specific context, that of Catalonia, where most would agree that there has been a relatively successful recovery of a minority language situated in a larger nation-state structure traditionally dominated by a monolingual (Spanish) polity. This critical approach explores, on the one hand, how political economy—which examines the power relations that mutually constitute the production, distribution, and consumption of resources and the class relations that emerge within these processes—may be brought to bear on issues arising in the ongoing development of LPP in Catalonia. In addition, this critical approach is attentive to issues around race and ethnicity which inevitably arise in societies experiencing high levels of immigration, as has been the case in Catalonia over the past 25 years. This paper aims to bring these two strands together, examining how two key matters of interest in political economy today– inequality and class—intersect with race and ethnicity in the ongoing development of language policy in Catalonia, focussing specifically on the Barcelona metropolitan area. And further to this, it aims to understand how this intersectionality is, at the same time, intersected by the nexus of a Catalan national, cultural and linguistic identity emerging from the aforementioned relatively successful recovery of Catalan over the past several decades.


Critical language policy Intersectionality Class Race Catalan language and culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament d’Anglès i LingüísticaUniversitat de LleidaLleidaSpain

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