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By Brigittine M. French

In this worthwhile ebook, ethnographer and anthropologist Brigittine French mobilizes new critical-theoretical views in linguistic anthropology, using them to the politically charged context of latest Guatemala. starting with an exam of the “nationalist venture” that has been ongoing because the finish of the colonial interval, French interrogates the “Guatemalan/indigenous binary.” In Guatemala, “Ladino” refers back to the Spanish-speaking minority of the inhabitants, who're of combined ecu, frequently Spanish, and indigenous ancestry; “Indian” is known to intend the vast majority of Guatemala’s inhabitants, who converse one of many twenty-one languages within the Maya linguistic teams of the rustic, even if degrees of bilingualism are very excessive between so much Maya groups. As French indicates, the Guatemalan country has actively promoted a racialized, essentialized inspiration of “Indians” as an undifferentiated, inherently inferior workforce that has stood stubbornly within the method of nationwide growth, cohesion, and development—which are, implicitly, the pursuits of “true Guatemalans” (that is, Ladinos).

French indicates, with necessary examples, how buildings of language and collective identification are in reality thoughts undertaken to serve the objectives of associations (including the govt., the army, the academic method, and the church) and social actors (including linguists, students, and activists). yet by way of incorporating in-depth fieldwork with teams that talk Kaqchikel and K’iche’ besides analyses of Spanish-language discourses, Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity additionally exhibits how a few participants in city, bilingual Indian groups have disrupted the essentializing tasks of multiculturalism. And by way of concentrating on ideologies of language, the writer is ready to explicitly hyperlink linguistic varieties and services with higher problems with awareness, gender politics, social positions, and the forging of hegemonic energy relations.

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