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View Diary: You're All a Bunch of Taigs: When Words Hurt & When They Don't (35 comments)

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  •  that all makes sense (1+ / 0-)
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    Tom Taaffe

    But my point is that you are thinking inside a problem set up by structuralist linguistics (e.g., the problem of separating subject/signifier and object/signified--created by de Saussure), whereas I am suggesting you step outside of that thinking into generative views of meaning (e.g.,P Bourdieu, R Wagner). The core conceit of a generative definition of the "symbol" is:  symbols do not stand for anything but themselves.  

    For your last point about "photo-shop" diversity, you might look at a 1997 essay by Stanley Fish called "Boutique Multiculturalism."  He takes on that idea.

    (peace)

    •  I'm not a structural linguist (1+ / 0-)
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      DBunn

      My linguistic theoretical foundation is in dialogics and informed by post-structuralism and Marxism (at the more Gramscian end of things), not structural linguistics. The production of meaning and value is inextricably bound up in the processes of power production and expression. Meanings are generative as you say, encoding and recoding themselves in unpredictable ways, shifting and changing over time. When a word disappears - as 'taig' has in Irish-American memory - it is indicative of the disappearance of those relations of power that gave it meaning to begin with.

      I've read Stanley Fish's piece. I agree with his thesis, though I think my own experience and understanding of racism and its remediation is a bit more brutal.

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