Code-switching, linguistic jokes and ethnic identity: Reading hidden transcripts in a cross-cultural context
AuthorVan Boeschoten, R.
Based on anthropological field-work among Slav-speakers in the Florina area, this article focuses on informal cultural language-based practices, such as code-switching and the telling of jokes. The analysis tries to decode the implicit social and cultural meanings of these practices and explores to what extent these data can improve our understanding of the relationship between language, ethnicity and power. The ethno-texts presented here focus on the tension between the use of the local vernacular and standard Greek and reveal a profound tension between official compliance and its symbolic reversal. I explore to what extent this tension can be read as a symbolic resistance to cultural hegemony and under what circumstances such resistance can be also understood as a way of constructing ethnic identity. At a broader level the paper aims to advance the debate in two critical areas of anthropological inquiry: the tension between domination and resistance and the concept of cultural intimacy.