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Title: The meaning of work in the Gaelic labour market in the Highlands and islands of Scotland
Author: Macleod, Marsaili
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis explores the social realities of working in a minority language labour market through a case-study of the Gaelic language in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  In this study, the ‘Gaelic labour market’ refers to a group of jobs for which knowledge of Gaelic is a condition of employment. By conceptualising language as situated in social practices, this study draws on in-depth interviews with people who work in this labour market, to research the ways in which personal identities, values and meanings associated with the language can be asserted, formed and contested through working practices.  The research found a multiplicity of motives for working in the Gaelic labour market which included both ‘mercenary’ and ‘crusading’ elements.  Gaelic language practice in the Gaelic labour market is not necessarily stable or habitual, but is contested practice given that there is no single ideology of language which workers bring to bear on upon their working situations. Whilst for some participation in the Gaelic labour market profoundly affected how they identified with the language, for others this involvement had little consequence for their identity.  The dominant outcome was one of ambivalence over what membership of the Gaelic labour market meant and in which ways it could have implications for how workers lived their lives.  The results show how the labour market is one space through which different ideologies of the language are contested, as well as being a contested concept in and of itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Minority groups ; Scottish Gaelic language ; Linguistic minorities ; Labor market