A Critical Ethnography of Language and Identity
Nationalism informs our ideas about language, culture, identity, nation, and State--ideas that are being challenged by globalization and an emerging new economy. As language, culture, and identity are commodified, multilingualism becomes a factor in the mobility of people, ideas and goods--and in their value.In Paths to Post-Nationalism, Monica Heller shows how hegemonic discourses of language, identity, and the nation-State are
destabilized under new political and economic conditions. These processes, she argues, put us on the path to post-nationalism. Applying a fine-grained ethnographic analysis to the notion of "francophone Canada" from
the 1970s to the present, Heller examines sociolinguistic practices in workplaces, schools, community associations, NGOs, State agencies, and sites of tourism and performance across francophone North America and Europe. Her work shows how the tensions of late modernity produce competing visions of social organization and competing sources of legitimacy in attempts to re-imagine--or resist re-imagining--who we are.