Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Language Policies in Ethnic Minority Areas in the PRC: The Case of the Tibetan Region
Yuhui Li

This paper studies language policies for ethnic minority populations in the PRC with the focus on the Tibetan region in western China. It shows that China’s language policies are first and foremost based on the political and economic agenda of the nation-state with inadequate consideration for issues that are important to minority populations such as ethnic culture and identity. Based on the findings, this paper argues that there are serious and far-reaching negative consequences of language policies in the PRC. Not only are these policies ineffective in enhancing the educational achievement of ethnic minority populations and their overall well-being, but more importantly, they are detrimental to the preservation of ethnic identity, tradition and culture of the Tibetan population. Subsequently, these policies and problems are likely major contributing factors in the continued riots and racial conflicts in minority areas in China.

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