Sprogpolitikken i Algeriet: Repræsentationer af algerisk nationalidentitet i et postkolonialt perspektiv

Malika Holmann Lakrioui

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Within a post-colonial theoretical frame, this thesis deals with representations of Algerian national identity. These are looked upon through current public debates concerning language politics in the Algerian educational system. The 132 years of total French domination in Algeria had left the country impoverished in more than one way. Consequently, at the dawn of independence in 1962, the Algerian leaders were forced to come up with a strategy to rebuild the nation at all levels, including a choice of language for the educational system. Arabic was thought of as representing Algerian national identity most authentically, as it would mark Algeria’s distancing from France, and at the same time reaffirm the countries belongingness to the Arabic-Islamic community. The strategy of arabisation was therefore soon implemented, though not without criticism from French speaking Algerians, who considered Arabic an outdated language, whereas they saw French as a stepping stone into the ‘modern’ world. That polemic is still a very current topic in Algeria nowadays. Much is at stake, as Algerians in fact are a much more heterogeneous and linguistically divers than the discourses on Algerian national identity indicate. Thus the thesis asks how, in a post-colonial perspective, Algerian national identity is represented in public debates on language politics in Algeria, and how post-colonial criticism can be useful in discussions on representations of Algerian national identity. Theoretically and methodologically I have for my purpose chosen a post-colonial approach. I have used some of the field’s key-concepts such as representation, reproduction and national identity as analytical themes. These were represented by main post-colonial theorists such as Stuart Hall with his definition of representation and the post-colonial field, Frantz Fanon with his concepts of national, political and social consciousness, and Homi Bhabha with his concepts of pedagogical objects and performative subjects. These enabled a systematic treatment of the empirical material, hence identifying different representations of Algerian national identities, which were rather dichotomised and essentialist, stigmatizing the Algerians and excluding other identity constituents such as Algeria’s Berber heredity. Post-colonial theory thus criticises these representations for reproducing colonial oppressive mechanisms and thereby marginalizing minority groups. In order to transcend these dichotomies, post-colonial theory proposes the creation of hybrid spaces where a nation’s people (Algerians) are represented and constantly ‘rewritten’ as divers and dynamic performative subjects, taking into account their individual specificities and complexities.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatFransk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2009


  • Fransk kolonial sprogpolitik
  • Algerisk nationalidentitet
  • Repræsentation
  • Bhabha
  • Algerisk sprogpolitik
  • Algeriet
  • Fanon
  • Hall
  • Postkolonial teori