Book reviews: Identity: Towards a synthesis of perspectives

Marianthi Makri-Tsilipakou

Punctum, 4(2): 113-120, 2018
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2018.0023


The perennial issue of shedding light on human identity has been a concern since the time of Plato and Aristotle. In the age of Liquid Modernity, ‘the search for identity is the ongoing struggle to arrest or slow down the flow, to solidify the fluid, to give form to the formless’ (Bauman 2012 [2000]: 83). This quest has generated a considerable amount of research across different fields and theoretical frameworks. To the extent that language is considered central to the production/interpretation of identity, its study has constituted a major trend in (non-Chomskyan) Linguistics. Applied Linguistics, defined as ‘the theoretical and empirical investigation of real-world problems in which language is a central issue’ (Brumfit 1995: 27), takes a particular interest in identity as it is implicated in a variety of such problems. Lisa McEntee-Atalianis’ book is yet another addition to the burgeoning literature on identity, as it remains salient – despite arguments against its use as a category of analysis (Brubaker and Cooper 2000).

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