Theorizing School-Based Language Activism in the Basque Country and Beyond: A Social Movement Approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In this chapter I draw on the insights of social movement theory in order to propose an analytical approach to the study of school-based minority language revitalization movements. In particular, I propose a framework that centers on neoinstitutionalist theory. Neoinstitutionalism posits that the relative ‘success’ of any movement hinges heavily upon the capacity of actors to marshal forth empowering forms of capital or ‘resources’ within a broader landscape of structural limitations and possibilities (Buechler, 1993, Edwards & McCarthy, 2004; McCarthy & Zald, 1987). Building on the basic principles of social movement theory, I outlinea novel framework and then illustrate it through an analysis of a school-based revitalization movement in the French Basque Country known as the ‘ikastola movement.’ Data are drawn from several periods of fieldwork that I conducted in the French Basque Country in 2002, 2004 and 2007-08. By way of conclusion, I suggest future avenues of research beyond the Basque context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevitalizing Minority Voices: Language Issues in the New Millenium
EditorsRenee De Palma, Diane Brook Napier, Willibrond Dze-Ngwa
PublisherSense Publishers
ISBN (Print)9789463001854
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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