chapter  12
Quebec, Canada, and the United States: Social Reality and Language Rights
Pages 16

Much of the discussion concerning movements to favor any given language turns on the hypothesis that government action does in fact have a significant impact on social reality. This is a popular thesis in both the United States and Canada, both within and without academic circles. Nonetheless, a good deal of data suggests that social systems are inherently self-sustaining, a feature that renders them relatively impervious to governmental intervention, except in very specific circumstances. Consequently, governmental initiatives to control language behavior are generally met by adaptive strategies designed to maintain the status quo.