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Societies and Spaces in Contact

Between Convergence and Divergence

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Edited By Milan Bufon, Tove H. Malloy and Colin Williams

This volume represents an inter-disciplinary discussion of some fundamental categories of convergence and divergence, focusing in particular on issues of both social integration and devolution related to ethnos as the space of identity, and demos as the space of polity. The aims of the book are to assess past developments within crucial parts of Central Europe where both conflict and coexistence potentials seem to best represent the actual “unity in diversity” managing dilemma in the continent; to provide an analysis of current approaches to minority protection, language planning, spatial and social cross-border and inter-cultural policies; and to develop an evaluation of the future trends and opportunities for co-operation and re-integration within a local and broader operational context.

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The Novel of the Slovenian Canonical Writer Ivan Cankar as a Source of Intercultural Education in Schools on the Slovenian/Italian Border (Vesna Mikolič)

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Vesna Mikolič

This chapter places a special emphasis on intercultural education in the Slovenian-Italian borderland with a particular focus on intercultural language and literature teaching. The ethnic heterogeneity of this border region has elements of an intercultural society supported by historical and socio-economic links between neighbouring cultures. Nevertheless, there are some important differences related to the legally established bilingualism of Slovenian and Italian on the Slovenian and Italian sides of the border. Members of the Italian ethnic group in Slovenia were granted official minority status and the resulting minority rights soon after 1954 London Memorandum, and Italian became the second (after Slovene) official language in the area, meaning that all public ←221 | 222→inscriptions and all public records have been bilingual ever since. Bilingualism has also been enshrined in the school system. Bilingual schools in Slovene Istria include both primary and secondary schools with Slovenian as the language of instruction and Italian as a compulsory subject, and primary and secondary schools with Italian as the language of instruction and Slovenian as a compulsory subject. The aim of such an education and language policy is collective bilingualism at the societal level. The language policy established in this area aims, firstly, at socially recognised or institutionalised bilingualism, which is significant for the individual in society, and secondly, at an increased number of bilingual speakers in the Slovenian and Italian communities (Mikolič 2002). In Italy, the issue of legal protection of the Slovene minority was always present in the post-war period,...

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