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Abstract

This review unravels different facets of la Francophonie, both as an international institution dedicated to the defense of French and as a group of people who speak or are united by French. Having been highly ideological since its beginnings and its association with France's colonial history, the very idea of la Francophonie has aroused passionate debates both within and without. Although it was officially launched as a cultural community seeking to develop economic partnership, it has evolved into a political organization promoting human rights and democracy and defending cultural diversity against Anglo-American hegemony. From a linguistic point of view, la Francophonie is approached in light of the centuries-long ideology of French as a universal language whose vitality is threatened by other languages. This review also shows that the political discourse of the institutional Francophonie has not always been in tune with that of its main agents, the Francophones.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145804
2013-10-21
2024-04-18
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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