Language Ideologies

Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics

Book 16
Free sample

"Language ideologies" are cultural representations, whether explicit or implicit, of the intersection of language and human beings in a social world. Mediating between social structures and forms of talk, such ideologies are not only about language. Rather, they link language to identity, power, aesthetics, morality and epistemology. Through such linkages, language ideologies underpin not only linguistic form and use, but also significant social institutions and fundamental nottions of person and community. The essays in this new volume examine definitions and conceptions of language in a wide range of societies around the world. Contributors focus on how such defining activity organizes language use as well as institutions such as religious ritual, gender relations, the nation-state, schooling, and law. Beginning with an introductory survey of language ideology as a field of inquiry, the volume is organized in three parts. Part I, "Scope and Force of Dominant Conceptions of Language," focuse on the propensity of cultural models of language developed in one social domain to affect linguistic and social behavior across domains. Part II, "Language Ideology in Institutions of Power," continues the examination of the force of specific language beliefs, but narrows the scope to the central role that language ideologies play in the functioning of particular institutions of power such as schooling, the law, or mass media. Part III, "Multiplicity and Contention among Ideologies," emphasizes the existence of variability, contradiction, and struggles among ideologies within any given society. This will be the first collection of work to appear in this rapidly growing field, which bridges linguistic and social theory. It will greatly interest linguistic anthropologists, social and cultural anthropologists, sociolinguists, historians, cultural studies, communications, and folklore scholars.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 28, 1998
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780195355611
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
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A vibrant and surprisingly powerful civic and political movement for an independent Catalonia has brought renewed urgency to questions about what it means, personally and politically, to speak or not to speak Catalan and to claim Catalan identity. In this book, Kathryn Woolard develops a framework for analyzing ideologies of linguistic authority and uses it to illuminate the politics of language in Spain and Catalonia, where Catalan jostles with Castilian for legitimacy. Longitudinal research across decades of political autonomy contextualizes this ethnographic study of the social meaning of Catalan in the 21st century. Part I lays out the ideologies of linguistic authenticity, anonymity, and naturalism that typically underpin linguistic authority in the modern western world, and gives an overview of a shift in the ideological grounding of linguistic authority in contemporary Catalonia. Part II examines discourses in the media surrounding three public linguistic controversies: an immigrant president's linguistic competence, a municipal festival, and an international book fair. Part III explores individuals' linguistic practices and views, drawing on classroom ethnographies and interviews with two generations of young people from the same high school. The book argues that there is an ongoing shift at both public and personal levels away from the ethnolinguistic authenticity that powered relations in the early transition to political autonomy, and toward new discourses of anonymity, rooted cosmopolitanism, and authenticity understood as a project rather than a matter of origins and essence. This shift is reflected in the current sovereignty movement.
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