Thank you so much for the speedy reply. In answer to Michael's question
about what exactly I know, I have to admit (blush, blush) that I do not have
in-depth knowledge of Saussure and no knowledge of Barthes, Eco, Strauss, or
Derrida. I know about them, but not the content of their work. I seems
that I will have to do some serious reading within the next few days!
My understanding of structuralist vs. poststructuralist approach re identity
is based on discussions between myself and my supervisor and
'poststructuralists'' work such as Cameron, Milani, Pavlenko & Blackledge,
Irvine & Gal, Stroud and Harvey (amongst others). My understanding is that
within a pre-poststructuralist approach (Thanks Kit) language and id were
viewed as static entities, boundaries between lanauges were clear', identity
was viewed as relatively simplistic and linked (to a great extend) to
language, e.g. if you speak Afrikaans you are an Afrikaner. Within this
view language was seen to be an expression of id and it 'reflected' society.
Poststructuralists say no, language itself is a social construct, identity
is complex and is constructed and language plays a central role in the
construction of (social) identity. Language boundaries are not clear-cut
and language and identity should be studied taking the social context and
history in which the particular identity is studied into consideration.
That is what I know in a nut-shell. Thank you sooooooooo much for the
references, you will find me behind my desk reading for the next couple of
Leoni Kotze, South Africa
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