Do Immigrants Have a Moral Duty to Learn the Host Society’s Language?

Hoesch, Matthias

Forschungsartikel (Zeitschrift)


In many Western countries, the host society expects immigrants to learn the official language and often reacts in severe ways if they do not. One of the normative questions that arise in this context is whether immigrants have a moral duty to learn the host society’s language. The paper evaluates the four most promising arguments for why immigrants might have such a duty: respect towards the host society; the unavoidability of communication situations involving duties; the duty to avoid becoming reliant on assistance from the welfare system; and a contract between the host society and immigrants. The paper argues that only the third and the fourth arguments support a moral obligation, and that they do so subject to several conditions and only for particular groups of immigrants.

Details zur Publikation

Veröffentlichungsjahr: 2023
Sprache, in der die Publikation verfasst istEnglisch
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