Concepts in Linguistic Anthropology: Nationalism, Linguistic Relativity

Q) What are the two main theories of nationalism and language? Which of these theories can find inspirations from the idea of linguistic relativity? Eve Haque states that the two most recurrent schools of thought on nationalism in conventional scholarship is primordialism and modernism. While describing primordialism, she mentions how language is a central element around which the... Continue Reading →

Concepts in Linguistic Anthropology: Media Ideology

Q) Does technology (the medium of interaction) affect communication? Describe debates on this issue. Give examples of how people creatively use and interpret messages from different media. In her article, Tracy LeBlanc-Wories describes presents debates on whether technology, the medium of interaction, affect communication (2015). She states that scholars before the 1990s mostly neglected the potential community aspects of the internet. In... Continue Reading →

Concepts in Linguistic Anthropology: Language Socialization, Color Categorization

Q) What is language socialization and how is it studied? Can the studies of color categorization be part of language socialization research? Why or why not? Amy L. Paugh states that language socialization research looks into how children and other novices are socialized via language, and how they socialize with others, as they learn to use languages through interactions with relatives... Continue Reading →

Concepts in Linguistic Anthropology: Language Ideology, New Chinglish

Q) What is language ideology and what are its main features? What kind of linguistic ideologies are at play in the debates about New Chinglish? Paul V. Kroskrity defines “language ideologies” as the “beliefs, feelings, and conceptions about language structure and use, which often index the political-economic interests of individual speakers, ethnic and other interest groups, and the nation-state." (2015,... Continue Reading →

The Nature of Culture

I would like to start with the question: Can there be multiple truths? Or is truth supposed to be one, as in 'The Truth'? Well, according to cultural anthropology, your truth is not the only truth. What I consider as true, moral or taboo could be completely different from your understanding. And so many factors... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Politics of Piety / Saba Mahmood

Mahmood, S. (2012). Politics of piety: the islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.  This thought-provoking yet complicated book is a groundbreaking analysis of the complex relationship between religious practices and beliefs of (some) Muslim women and modern secular liberal discourses on feminism and other issues. The ethnography, published in 2004 by... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Political Leadership among Swat Pathans / Fredrik Barth

Barth, Fredrik. Political Leadership among Swat Pathans. 1st Pbk. Ed. with Corrections ed. London: Athlone, 1965. Print. Monographs on Social Anthropology ; No. 19.  This fascinating yet terrifyingly complex ethnography, published in 1959, is about the Pashto-speaking people (Pathans) of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area called Swat. Fredrik Barth claims the main purpose of his study... Continue Reading →

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