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We Share Walls. Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco. Wiley Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture

  • ID: 2247121
  • Book
  • December 2007
  • Region: Morocco
  • 280 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco explores how political economic shifts over the last century have reshaped the language practices and ideologies of people in the plains and mountains of rural southwestern Morocco. Through an entrenched moral code that favors male emigration, women have come to personify the rugged homeland and embody its native language Tashelhit. They create frameworks in which knowledge of rural land, people, and expressive culture is positively valued. In contrast, national narratives centered on Arab identity marginalize Berbers yet immortalize Berber women as remnants of an idealized past.

Through close analysis of verbal and song–texted forms, We Share Walls is a richly textured ethnography of anxiety and temerity among an overlooked Muslim group. Hoffman documents language choices and consequences in public and private contexts, providing insight into the everyday strategies Moroccan Berbers use to accommodate themselves to an Arabic–speaking society while retaining their own distinctive identity. With its fascinating semiotic and gender issues simmering beneath the surface, this engaging book will be of interest to scholars and students of anthropology, performance studies, sociolinguistics, and gender studies.

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List of Figures, Tables and Transcripts viii

Series Preface xi

Copyright Acknowledgments xiii

Note on Transcription and Transliteration xvii

Part I Prelude 1

1 Introduction: Staying Put 3

2 On Fieldwork Methods and Movements: Song Is Good Speech 31

Part II Dissonance: Gender 47

3 The Gender of Authenticity 49

Part III Consonance: Homeland 81

4 Building the Homeland: Labor, Roads, Emigration 83

5 Voicing the Homeland: Objectifi cation, Order, Displacement 110

Part IV Antiphony: Periphery 145

6 Transformation in the Sous Valley 147

7 Ishelhin into Arabs? Ethnolinguistic Differentiating Practices in the Periphery 164

Part V Resonance 193

8 Mediating the Countryside: Purists and Pundits on Tashelhit Radio 195

9 Conclusion 228

Notes 237

References 245

Index 257

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Katherine E. Hoffman
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