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Title: Minority Languages and Rural Development in the EU: Constructing Identities in Cornwall
Author: Donaldson, Andrew.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2442 0788
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2002
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Abstract This thesis examined the roles of culture and identity in development processes, focusing on the case of indigenous minority languages in the EU. I undertake a study of cultural, political and linguistic activists in Cornwall, during preparations for the current Objective One programme. 'Development' is broken down into a range of discourse and ideology; some of those components are shown to have been central in the process of nation-state bUilding in Europe, which also reduced certain languages to the status of 'minority'. Combining elements of social constructionism, anthropology and actor-network theory, I construct the concept of 'cultural literacy' to describe the skilis utilised by actors in the deliberate creation of identities from cultural resources. Using qualitative methods - interviews, observation and documentary analysis - I explore the use of cultural literacy, the ways in which identities are constructed to achieve goals, among local and extralocal actors in development. The Cornish language died out before the twentieth century; its existence now is' a result of a Celtic-Cornish Revival. Currently, the Cornish language has greater value as a symbol of a distinctive territorial identity than it does as a means of communication, however this chara~teristic has been central to the project of the Cornish Revivalists and their successors. The success of Cornwall's Objective One bid lies partly with the creation and mobilisation of a postindustrial territorial identity over the last century, and partly with the ability of certain actors to position this identity in a European policy arena. The recognition of Cornwall as a European region is seen as beneficial to the activists' goal of self-governance. I conclude that the current mode of development in the EU offers an opportunity for territories to define new identities for themselves, and that the construction of these identities is intimately tied up in the renegotiation of power dynamics. As a consequence, new development ideologies will emerge from within 'peripheral' territories. Development has come to involve discourses other than those simply concerned with 'development' and has the potential - though this Is not necessarily intentional - to playa major role in transforming the cultural and political state of the EU.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available