Spaces of Identity - Part 10

posted by usha on 2005/10/05 11:26

[ Spaces of Identity ]

It still comes back to the question of language, albeit language is only one of a whole bunch of communicative means stretching from rituals and habits to the language of body and to body space (how much space has to be between bodies?).

As mentioned some times before, AllaboutLatvia is negotiating Latvian identity/ies. Naturally, the Blogger is mainly dealing with Latvian-Latvian, Latvian-Russian, and Russian-Russian constructions of identity.

Maybe its because of the highest validity for the media that language is always at the core of such considerations: language politics is bound to education, to the public traffic, to questions of employment, language is the most public and political instrument of building up an image of a community. Language is more extroverted and more "visible" (as the specific alphabet and the officially used printed language) and "audible" (as the respective lingua franca) than every other instrument of imaging and identity building.

Language's extroverted formality makes it the most powerful instrument of ruling Others, as well. Thus, if necessary, any different (identity) code such as fashion, genetical features (still not outdated), everyday rituals or religious rituals, etc, are interpreted as being a language, too.

Identity building has thus become the discipline of language(s), first of all the spoken and written language, though none of the further languages is safe from being co-disciplined. Thus, what All about Latvia is talking about in case of Putin's nostalgia for the former Soviet republic -

The Soviets were trying to create a new man: the man who is not driven by selfish desires, but is willing to sacrifice everything for his country and his Party. While the Soviet Union is long gone, the Soviet thinking still remains. Soviet thinking remains in the minds of Latvia’s politicians in all shapes and sizes: from Latvia’s Defense Minister to members of the Shtab [-]
what remains is not only a "thinking", but a "language" in the above-mentioned respect. With regard to conferring individual to collective identities (of party members or members of a nation) languages favoring the building of identity, though, are always selfish.



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