Document Type



Department of Education Studies

Conference End Date


Conference Title

Education, Ethnicity, and Inequality Symposium: Issues and Insights


In this paper, I demonstrate how the government managed the equality of language education in the socialist multi-ethnic countries after the period of nation building. The socialist countries already broadly launched and maintained pro-minority policies in the field of the language policy before the affirmative action starting in the U.S. in the 1960s. In the Soviet Union (USSR), it is well known that the federal center changed the pro-minority language policy in the beginning of the 1930s and the national leaders in the soviet republics in USSR gradually stopped to keep their national language policies under the pressure of the purge. However, some republic-level national leaders did not easily abandon their national interests in the language policy. For example, they established Kazakh National Academy and edited the Kazakh Encyclopedia in Kazakh Republic in the 1930s. Also in the national autonomous regions in People’s Republic of China in the 1950s, they tried to build many schools for native language speakers. Indigenous people basically had the opportunity of education of their native languages, although they necessarily did not enjoy the opportunity of education by their native languages, both in the national autonomy regions in PRC and the national republics in USSR. These policies were backed up by the national elites who were created during the years of nation buildings and obtained the top-class position of the education and language administration in the regional governments.

Conference Location

Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR


Language policy, education policy, social system, socialist countries

Publication Date


Place of Publication

Hong Kong SAR