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Language, Identity and Conflict by Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost

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4 Language in ethnicity

Introduction

Developing an understanding of conflict in relation to language in ethnicity requires a language-specific model which accounts for the postmodern condition, characterised by society in a state of flux, instability and fracture. It has already been noted that Bourdieu's model, which centres on the concept of society as habitus, is most effective when applied to stable, bounded and homogenous societies:

The single linguistic community, or the unified linguistic market, to which Bourdieu refers is most clearly represented in and by the homogenous civic culture of the modern nation-state.

(May, 2001: 156)

So while the idea of discourse, adopted from this model, will be returned to at a later point in this work, ...

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