Symbolic domination is exercised through
symbols, by selecting a set of ways of representing reality, that conceals other possible
representations, thus hiding parts of the same reality. If this symbolic domination is
successful, acceptance of the domination by dominant groups is guaranteed (Bourdieu and
domination becomes a mechanism for legitimating changes by creating structures of
plausibility that make domination unconscious while helping to define reality in a certain
way. We understand symbolic domination to be the set of unconscious actions perceived as
non-coercive, but which are the product of a social determinism that is far removed from
any conscious intention (Bourdieu, 1985).
domination of the structures through which we see the world (language) guarantees the
unconscious acceptance of another type of domination as normal.
policies are able to create structures of plausibility that add value to language,
rediscover spheres that will guarantee its use, and teach the language, ensuring
competence in it. This is achieved by creating markets through which language becomes
cultural capital, because we are not faced with a situation of linguistic speculation that
can tell us whether we know a language well but where we are unable to produce or
reproduce anything using that language.
1.2. When. Social spheres for language
Language as a
tool of domination needs a market in which to develop and through which, it gains value.
Thus, linguistic cultural capital becomes so when social institutions create a sphere in
which it can develop, take on meaning and progressively increase in value.
In our case, the
Community of Valencia, there are two ways of understanding reality based on two linguistic
systems (Spanish-Valencian); the most powerful group legitimates and creates spheres or
areas of use and increases its markets, thus reproducing its language and understanding of
the world in a certain way. This is achieved by appropriating spheres that belonged to the
other language (Valencian), which is progressively devalued by the reduction in its
Therefore, we have
two struggles for the expansion of markets, for legitimating and valuing one language over
the other, for conflict between languages in contact caused by objectivising invasions
into language spheres.
expansion-reduction dynamic is based on a number of different processes related to
bilingualism, diglossia, language shift and standardisation (in that order) Hence,
bilingual situations with contact between two different linguistic systems alternating
with each other leads to the legitimation-loss of prestige of linguistic spheres. We
understand that the term is similar to what Ninyoles calls diglossia, since
the use of a given language is subordinate to relationships in a hierarchised social
structure reflected in a hierarchy of linguistic uses and languages.
A language expands
its spheres by reducing those of the other language, reflecting a process of language
shift. This situation gradually becomes monolingual in the dominant language. However, if
language conflict is declared between languages, this can lead to standardisation of the
language in decline with the aim of standardising the speech of each area and recovering
linguistic spheres (depending on the intensity and direction of the language policy).
occurs when certain individuals and groups question and doubt the direction of the shift,
problematising it and setting up processes of social action to increase the spheres
occupied by the language in decline, thus initiating the language standardisation
processes (Ninyoles, 1969). Language standardisation is therefore always preceded by the
problematization and conflictiveness of the social definition of language uses (Tejerina,
Tejerina (1992) points out, the same conscience of the disappearance of a territorys
own language can lead to a defensive reaction promoting the recovery of the original
language, depending on the linguistic communitys valuation of the collective
identity represented by that language. Language standardisation requires the social
construction of favourable socio-political conditions, the will of the linguistic
community and the appropriate social action (Mollà and Palanca, 1987); all of these
elements depend on the valuational dimension of the language.
1.3. How. Language loyalties and attitudes
language provide the vehicle and reference point for all of these linguistic situations as
well as for symbolic domination, language planning and the legitimation of social spheres.
For van Dijk
(1998), attitudes lie in the conscience of individuals, forming part of their cognitive
world; they are made up of a series of opinions shared by a social group. Thus, they are
specific, structured series of beliefs that are shared socially.
are Bourdieus habitus (1979, 1992) in that they are the fruit of experiences,
products of a whole series of historical, social, economic, political and cultural
implications that continuously interact with one and other, turning the subjective into
the objective on analysis.
individual action, the concept of habitus follows the logic of social action,
incorporating the objective into corpuses so that the subjective also becomes social.
Habitus is a socialised subjectivity:
"Habitus are long-lasting, transposable
systems of schemes of perception, appreciation and action resulting from the penetration
of the social institution in corpuses." (Bourdieu, 1992)