Creolization? Or Globalization?

Bill McKellin mcke at
Tue Feb 22 21:05:05 UTC 2000

The question of the relationship between language and cultural change is
far from new. Gramsci's original formulation of hegemony, so popular in
studies of cultural domination among political economists during the last
decade, was inspired by his analysis of the social dynamics of language change.

Gramsci, 1985. Selections from Cultural Writings. Forgacs and Newell-Smith
eds., London

At 11:13 AM 22/02/00 -0500, you wrote:
>John Thiels writes:
> > Well, to put in my two cents' worth, I'd like to problematize the
> >relationship between linguistic phenomena and cultural phenomena,
>Good idea!
> >although comparisons are often tempting and sometimes very fruitful.
>Good point. When done carefully, they can give some insight in cultural
>dynamics but they certainly don't tell the whole story.
> >However, it is easy to transfer the whole kit of ideas contained in the
> >idea of language (creolization) and transfer it to "culture"
>It seems that a more fruitful approach is to look how contact may
>influence both language and culture and see if similar phenomena occur...
> >my beef with some of the globalization literature is that it does not
> >usually address questions of inequality in the world system
>Well, that's one interest of creolization as it usually implies some form
>of domination, as opposed to trade-language-type pidginization.
>Obviously, the "superstratum/substratum" dichotomy can easily be overdone,
>but creolization surely doesn't imply the absence of power relations.
> > Has anyone thought about Kulick's Language Shift and Cultural
> >Reproduction in terms of this discussion?
>Do you have the reference?
> > I really liked his argument concerning the shift to Pidgin and the
> > association for his informants of particular codes to gendered
> > interaction...
>"Breakthrough into Performance" meets the sociolinguistics of gender?
> >is it relevant here?
>Even if it isn't, it'd be interesting to hear more about the issue.

Bill McKellin		                     			mcke at
Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology           phone 604-822-2756
University of British Columbia                      fax 604 822-6161
Vancouver, B.C. CANADA
V6T 1Z1

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