The national research hub on official language minority communities

Digital Culture and Linguistic Minority Communities: Roles, Impacts and Issues

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CALL FOR PAPERS - For a special issue of Linguistic Minorities and Society

This special issue of the Linguistic Minorities and Society journal proposes to examine digital issues affecting Official Language Minority Communities (Canadian Francophonie and English-speaking communities in Quebec) as well as other linguistic minorities in Canada (e.g., Indigenous communities) or abroad. Today, digital usage cuts across a number of information practices and the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). It makes it essential for the public to hone their digital literacy skills and raises broad questions such as the need to combat the spreading of online misinformation as well as questions more specifically associated with linguistic minorities. These issues call for measures related to, for instance, access to services in a minority language (in areas such as health, education and justice), the revitalization and maintenance of communities’ languages and cultures and the discoverability of cultural and other content, including online content (both contemporary and heritage content). Digital usage can also play a role in strengthening the sense of belonging to communities and making it possible to create virtual communities that can go far beyond physical borders. Increased digital usage also raises questions related to social inequalities, social divides as well as the varying levels of digital literacy skills that can exist in communities across demographic lines (e.g., age, geographic location, gender, revenue, level of education). It can have an impact on the media available in communities, the means required for communities to adapt as well as economic development in these communities. Finally, digital usage also requires a transformation with respect to research methods (notably in the social sciences) to allow a better grasp of the complexity of digital usages and their impacts.

To better understand the extent of digital changes, issues and innovations in the context of linguistic minority communities, this special issue invites researchers to make proposals based on this theme, according to the following research topics:

1) Overview of digital knowledge, skills, practices and uses within linguistic minority communities

What do we know about information-seeking behaviours of linguistic minority communities in Canada or elsewhere? What do we know about digital skills in those communities? Do information-seeking behaviours and the way the Internet is used vary in these communities among different groups (e.g., youth, seniors, women)?

2) Public policy and digital technologies affecting linguistic minority communities

What public policies guide and facilitate access to online services provided in minority languages? What strategies do minority communities have to engage in the debate on the web’s framework and governance?

3) The impacts of digital technologies

What are some of the digital impacts on different social and cultural groups and their ecosystems (e.g., education, health, access to justice, media, arts and culture) with respect to a minority language?

What are the digital impacts on the economic development of these communities or even their political, social and cultural connections and the representation of communities? How have these communities been impacted by the pandemic, notably with the heightened reliance on digital technologies it has brought along?

4) Practices and innovations

Are there certain digital practices in these communities that stand out for their innovation potential? For example: language alternation such as code-switching; institutional practices; social practices and citizen-driven movement trends; cultural practices (associated with cultural groups and the dissemination of culture) or artistic practices (associated with creation); digital literacy or online education, especially during the pandemic, etc.

5) Research methods

How are research methods in the fields of social sciences and humanities adapting to ensure we can enrich our knowledge on the place that digital usage occupies in linguistic minority communities and the role it plays?

Important dates to remember for this special issue of Linguistic Minorities and Society/Minorités linguistiques et société:

Please submit your manuscript: before Novembre 30, 2023, at the following email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See the manuscript submission protocol at:


The journal has adopted a continuous publication model, which means that the issue will open in the fall of 2023, with the final edition expected to be complete in winter 2025. The editorial committee for this thematic issue “Digital culture and linguistic minority communities: Roles, impacts and issues” is composed of:

Anne Robineau (CIRLM)

Megan Cotnam-Kappel (University of Ottawa)

Sylvain St-Onge (CIRLM)

Destiny Tchéhouali (UQAM)

Lina Shoumarova (Concordia University)


All manuscripts submitted for publication will be subject to a double-blind peer review. The reviewers’ comments are intended to be constructive and aim to improve the text so that it meets scientific standards. Texts approved for publication will then be proofread and copy-edited to ensure that they meet language criteria, while continuing to uphold scientific standards.