Bourdieu’s linguistic market and the spread of French in protectorate Morocco
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The French colonizer from 1912–1956 brought not only the French language to Morocco but also a colonial administration that reinforced divisions between various indigenous social groups. European, Jewish, Muslim, and Berber communities were segregated into separate schools providing different levels of French-language education. As a result, French linguistic dominance and economic opportunity were assured among some groups more thoroughly than others. Acquisition of the French language for European and Jewish communities through advanced educational opportunities at the European lycées and Jewish Alliance Israélite Universelle granted certain higher educational, economic, and administrative privileges within the colonial administration and workforce. Meanwhile, those attending schools created for Muslim and Berber Moroccans where curricula insisted on rudimentary French skills were unable to seek advanced educational or economic opportunity. This research describes the different types of access to the French language that were intended for the diverse European, Jewish, Berber, and Arab speech communities through the various educational institutions created by the French government during the French protectorate in Morocco. Through the application of Bourdieu’s language market theory, this dissertation examines the ways that access became linked to the job market and the attainment of symbolic, economic, and cultural capital. This research offers explanations of how language shift occurred among European and Jews in Morocco and how French continued to confer socioeconomic value long after independence, despite efforts to oust the “colonizer’s language” for all Moroccans. Furthermore, in contradiction to Bourdieu’s language market theory, this research exposes how multiple language markets in Morocco emerged for Muslim and Berber communities as a result of access to different kinds of instruction and how both French and Arabic became legitimate languages with very different social functions.