The use of language and culture in the construction of local identity

This subproject investigates a) the use of language (dialect, regiolect, Dutch) and culture (ritual, festivals, gestures) in the construction of local identity in the Netherlands; b) the contexts in which local identity is experienced and conveyed; and c) the actors involved and their audiences. In doing so, we investigate what meanings are given to linguistic and cultural practices.

An important theoretical point of departure is that “the place”, “the region”, or “the area” are not understood as clearly delineated geographical spaces with well-defined cultural, linguistic, and historical characteristics, but instead as the temporal, dynamic products of collective actions and social imaginaries. For this reason, the research will not only be focused on the discursive aspects of the expression and formation of local identities, but equally on the praxis in which such identities (in the sense of performance) are defined and experienced.