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Language, Ideology, and Political Economy



After sharply defining and contrasting an “analytic-scientific” and an “emotional-ethical” approach and their interrelations, this article goes on to explore some possible interconnections among the three main phenomena, before discussing each in more detail. The first is political economy in several important senses; germane problems are noted that deal with (ethno) quantification and the innovative individual. The second phenomenon is ideology, in three senses: (1) notional ideology, (2) ideology for maintaining or changing a sociopolitical order, and (3) ideology for masking a structure of domination. The third phenomenon is language, again in various senses, but particularly as (1) a symbolism with a structure analogous in some ways to that of economics, and (2) a mediator between ideology and political economy; considerable attention is given to the political-economic functions of language figures such as irony and synecdoche. A fourth, analytically crucial kind of ideology, “linguacultural ideology,” fills in the foregoing structure. Alternative logics, alternative combinations of variables, and alternative complementary theories are suggested throughout, particularly in the final section.

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