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SEMINAR Minority languages and the Economy: the case of Gaelic 3 rd of June 2011 Jose M. Zendoia Sainz Centre for Cultural Policy Research University of.

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Presentation on theme: "SEMINAR Minority languages and the Economy: the case of Gaelic 3 rd of June 2011 Jose M. Zendoia Sainz Centre for Cultural Policy Research University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 SEMINAR Minority languages and the Economy: the case of Gaelic 3 rd of June 2011 Jose M. Zendoia Sainz Centre for Cultural Policy Research University of Glasgow Department of Applied Economics University of the Basque Country With the support of the Basque Government

2 Minority languages and the Economy Language in economics Background: from the 70s until now Minority languages: a specific issue Historical point of view: economic development and language shift, a story of domination Diversity as an asset The four paradigms (F. Grin) –The firm, the market and intercultural management –Development economics –The language-specific sector and multiplier effects –Minority languages and welfare Economic impact, labour market, language policies, regional economic development

3 Gaelic and the Economy Historical evolution: from the Lordship of the Islands, through the clearances till the post-industrial Scotland Gaelic economy: the geographical area, the economic sector and the multipliers The labour market: skills, education, jobs... A key field: broadcasting in Gaelic Policies to promote Gaelic: the Gaelic activists, the Language Act and the Language Public Policies The current wider Gaelic economy Weaknesses: poor self-esteem, lack of activists, few supporters, prevailing the old vision of Gaelic as backdown / English fashionable

4 Socioeconomic status of Gaels Education level as an indicator of welfare: qualifications Education Levels among Gaelic (G) and non-Gaelic (NG) speaking people aged (percentages) Source: personal compilation based on Census 2001 and GROS Group 1: 'O' Grade, Standard Grade, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, City and Guilds Craft, SVQ Level 1 or 2 or equivalent. Group 2: Higher Grade, CSYS, ONC, OND, City and Guilds Advanced Craft, RSA Advanced Diploma, SVQ Level 3 or equivalent. Group 3: HND, HNC, RSA Higher Diploma, SVQ Level 4 or 5 or equivalent. Group 4: First Degree, Higher Degree, Professional qualifications.

5 Socioeconomic status of Gaels Jobs and Skills as an indicator of welfare: occupations Percentages of people aged in employment by occupational group (A-E) and language ability: Gaelic speaker (G), Non-Gaelic speaker (NG) Source: personal compilation based on Census 2001 and GROS A: Customer Service Occupations, Process; Plant and Machine Operatives, Transport and Mobile Machine Drivers and Operatives, Elementary Trades; Plant and Storage Related Occupations, Elementary Administration and Service Occupations. B: Skilled Construction and Building Trades, Textiles; Printing and Other Skilled Trades, Caring Personal Service Occupations, Leisure and Other Personal Service Occupations, Sales Occupations. C: Business and Public Service Associate Professionals, Administrative Occupations, Secretarial and Related Occupations, Skilled Agricultural Trades, Skilled Metal and Electrical Trades. D: Business and Public Service Professionals, Science and Technology Associate Professionals, Health and Social Welfare Associate Professionals, Protective Service Occupations, Culture; Media and Sports Occupations. E: Corporate Managers, Managers and Proprietors in Agriculture and Services, Science and Technology Professionals, Health Professionals, Teaching and Research Professionals

6 Socioeconomic status of Gaels In the whole of Scotland, there are significantly more non-Gaelic speakers than Gaelic speakers employed full-time, and as a counterpart, there are more Gaelic speakers in the self-employed and unemployed categories In the Main Gaelic areas, a slightly greater proportion of Gaelic speakers are employed in less qualified jobs, while a higher proportion of non-Gaelic speakers are employed in the most prestigious jobs. The opposite situation is found in the rest of Scotland, in which Gaelic speakers are better placed: in the lowest categories non-Gaelic speakers are a majority, while a higher proportion of Gaelic speakers are in the most qualified jobs In the Main Gaelic Areas, Gaelic speakers with no qualifications are proportionally more than non-Gaelic speakers (37% to 31%). In comparison, in the rest of Scotland Gaelic speakers with no qualifications are only a 21%, for a 33% amongst non-Gaelic speakers, and Gaelic speakers with the highest levels of qualification are more frequent than non-Gaelic speakers in this category. Gaelic speakers in more bilingual areas have lower than average socio- economic status, but for those Gaelic speakers who live in the rest of Scotland, the social and economic standard of living seems to be higher than average. Dicothomy: Gaelic reinforces the features of peripheral vs urban communties

7 Cost-effectiveness of language policies Gaelic Book Council - Comhairle nan Leabhraichean

8 Cost-effectiveness of language policies Radio nan Gàidheal

9 Cost-effectiveness of language policies BBC Alba – MG Alba

10 Cost-effectiveness of language policies Conclusions A useful tool to evaluate and compare the effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of different language policies All costs associated with such policies are not attributable solely to the promotion of Gaelic, they are also related to the provision of cultural, information and entertainment services Other indirect positive effects: –Conversations about book or radio and TV programmes –To improve language skills of readers, listeners and viewers –To overcome the myth of Gaelic as the language associated with an undeveloped society These activities generate a considerable number of jobs, at least 130 FTE in direct employment, plus around other 155 FTE through indirect and induced employment


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