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Language and Ideology - Essay Example
In the twentieth century, previous assumptions about the possibility of a truthful replication of reality have been challenged by a number of theories which point to the borders and margins of representation, such as Marxism and Feminism, and to the inherent difficulties within language itself, now questioned as a source of stable and transparent expression…
That is, language does not exist without ideology and ideology does not exist without language. Due to its artificiality, language and its application through narrative is vulnerable to manipulation that functions as a justification for the interests of certain power relations within society. Since both language and ideology are culturally embedded, all forms of linguistic representation must be understood as constructed and mediated. The aim of the critic becomes the deconstruction of the form and content of social expression that is constituted through the dynamic inter-relation of language and the ideas that it supports and perpetuates.
To understand its relation to ideology, we must first examine how language is formulated from a material perspective. According to Ferdinand de Saussure's seminal analysis of the structure of words and their associated meanings, the former is never a transparent indicator of the latter. In his Course in General Linguistics, Saussure maintained that language should be divided into two components: "langue," referring to the entire body of a language, and "parole," referring to a specific utterance or individual act of speech within a language. The latter can only be comprehended within the larger system of the former. ...