Chapter published in:Reference and Identity in Public Discourses
Edited by Ursula Lutzky and Minna Nevala
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 306] 2019
► pp. 43–65
The Prince and the Sassenach
Constructing group homogeneity through labels (and anachronisms) in Late Modern times and beyond
In political communication group identity construal is often oversimplified: the supposed homogeneity of individual groups is emphasized, while their mutual antagonism is highlighted. This phenomenon also has considerable time depth and even influences the historical (re)construction and (re)interpretation of events. In this respect, the Jacobite cause is a significant example: narrations that have circulated for centuries in popular culture have contributed to the popularity of labels like ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, ‘Redcoats’ and ‘Sassenach’ well beyond the historical context in which they could be viable. In this contribution I aim to outline how different labels pertaining both to people and to social groups are seen to occur in present-day and in Late Modern English uses, in order to analyse how certain items have become so persistent as to (almost) exclude alternatives from general usage, not least in public discourse and especially in the tourist industry.
Keywords: Late Modern English, popular culture, onomastics, identity, argumentation
Published online: 21 October 2019
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