Article published In:Literacies in Contact
Edited by Manuela Böhm and Constanze Weth
[Written Language & Literacy 23:2] 2020
► pp. 180–193
This essay explores the relationship between writing and an emblematic notion of our age, identity. It describes the symbolic functions of writing for three planes on which it is instrumentalized as a marker of identity, religion, nation and language. The discussion revolves around scriptures as a means of codifying religion, the practical and symbolic functions of writing for modern nation states, and the question of how writing affects linguistic systems, with regard to individual speakers, communities of speakers, and languages themselves. It thus appraises writing as a culture technique without which god, nation, and self wouldn’t be what nowadays we think they are.