By David Graddol, Linda Thompson and Mike Byram (Editors)
Those papers from the twenty fourth Annual assembly of BAAL (University of Durham, September 1991), were chosen for the variety of point of view which they give at the subject of language and tradition, and at the manner within which they replicate present considering at the interdependence of language use and situational context.
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Additional resources for Language & Culture: Papers From the Annual Meeting of the British Association of Applied Linguistics Held at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, September 1991
The conventions of talking about the gender ideas of the 'X' exaggerate the impression of internal coherence within a society. They can also lead us to search forand then, in our analysis, to privilegean 'indigenous' set of gender ideas that is deemed more authentic than < previous page page_35 next page > < previous page page_36 next page > Page 36 those expressed by others in the same community or in the broader society' (1990:11). Living in Greece at the time of a new socialist government, when feminist platforms had a very public airing and the 'naturalness' of the traditional order was being questioned, also made Cowan uncomfortable with 'the monolithic implications of such models of culture'.
In fact 'there is not much point in trying to say what culture is... What can be done, however, is to say what culture does'. For what culture does is precisely the work of 'defining words, ideas, things and groups... We all live our lives in terms of definitions, names and categories that culture creates'. The job of studying culture is not of finding and then accepting its definitions but of 'discovering how and what definitions are made, under what circumstances and for what reasons'. These definitions are used, change and sometimes fall into disuse'.
Language, Identity and Cultural Change In current studies of social change there is a significant emphasis on changes in culturein symbolic practices and meanings, cultural value, forms of self and senses of sell etcwhich is presumably attributable to increased emphasis on cultural means of social integration and social control in modern societies, identified for instance by Bernstein in a shift towards greater reliance on symbolic modes of control (Bernstein 1991). Issues of social identity, the sell subjectivity are at the heart of studies of cultural change.