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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

12 - A Foucauldian Approach to Language Policy in Canada

from Part III - The Canadian Context


This article examines developments in the field of policy studies in order to consider their applicability for the study of language policy and planning. In particular, Foucauldian insights into power and discourse offer the possibility of elaborating on descriptive language policy studies and force a reconsideration of the premise upon which policymaking is often based: the starting point of the “problem” for which a policy solution is needed. By analyzing the proceedings of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1963-70) in order to trace the development of Canada’s Official Languages Act (1969), this paper advocates for a broader set of theoretical and methodological approaches to our work as scholars in the field of language policy.

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