The Stratification of Culture and Stratified Identity

By Razieh Eslamieh.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Language is the most important element of culture as language as particularity is the medium of cultural transmission and language as communication is the medium of cultural construction. Globalization imposes new linguistic codes for communication the result of which is the separation of historical and cultural strata from the communicative stratum in the imposed language. Identity enunciation takes place through codes “which have a history, a position within the discursive formations of a particular space and time.” (Hall 226) Cultural experiences which make a subject define his identity through codes with a “history” and “discursive positions” different from those of his formerly established ones, or in other words come to define national or individual identity in a strongly stratified language, cause identity stratification. In the same way that different situations cause new strata enter language stratified identity underscores the construction of national or individual ethnic identity under different culture, different history, different experience and in a different space without letting those differences be appropriated or contained.
A cultural identity crisis happens when the codes of the cultural history with which individual identified himself clash with the codes of the newly-adopted culture. When an individual, with an already collective formed identity tries to absorb metropolis culture he confronts a lack.
To compensate such lack and in a wholesale attempt to construct dignified collective national identity, ethnic literature imposes the historical and cultural strata of the submerged language upon the superimposed language of communication. Such literature engages heterogenizing forces and voices which leave ethnic minorities with a stratified culture and identity at the wake of deploying a language in which more strata are entered.

Keywords: Cultural Stratification, Identity Stratification, Heterogenizing Forces

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.41-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 603.645KB).

Dr. Razieh Eslamieh

University Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, Parand Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Currently I am Ph.D English Literature student and board-certified faculty lecturer and teacher. I have been teaching English for about ten years or approximately for less than one third of my life. (I was born on 18th February 1975.) I have studied French language too and I love language learning as well as reading novels, watching films and traveling.

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