This article looks at the historicisation of the native speaker and ideologies of authenticity and anonymity in Europe's language revitalisation movements. It focuses specifically on the case of Irish in the Republic of Ireland and examines how the native speaker ideology and the opposing ideological constructs of authenticity and anonymity filter down to the belief systems and are discursively produced by social actors on the ground. For this I draw on data from ongoing fieldwork in the Republic of Ireland, drawing on interviews with a group of Irish language enthusiasts located outside the officially designated Irish-speaking Gaeltacht.
Tensions between Ideologies of Authenticity and Anonymity
Setting the Context
Máiréad Nic Craith and Bernadette O'Rourke
Within the field of anthropology, there is a comprehensive linguistic sub-discipline which deals with issues from semiotics and linguistics to identity and intangible cultural heritage. This special volume of AJEC emerged from our desire to explore that sub-discipline in a European context. From our perspective, it appears that many anthropologists in and of Europe engage with a variety of questions within the sub-discipline. However, these anthropologists are not necessarily located in anthropology departments. Furthermore, their expertise is not necessarily profiled in anthropological journals. This is in sharp contrast with the U.S.A. where the significance of language in the field of anthropology is more clearly defined and profiled.