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Deborah House, Language shift among the Navajos: Identity politics and cultural continuity. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002. Hb $35.00.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2002

Margaret Field
Affiliation:
American Indian Studies, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-8134, Mfield@mail.sdsu.edu

Abstract

This book is an important and useful contribution to the literature on language shift, especially for readers interested in this issue in American Indian communities. House focuses on discrepancies between public discourse about what it means to be a Navajo person and “undiscussed, yet highly visible, linguistic and behavioral practices” – that is, between conscious, discursive ideology and more unconscious, behavioral ideology as revealed through social practice. She challenges the widespread claim in the Navajo community for the existence of Navajo cultural homogeneity, arguing that although such essentializing discourse may have political, economic, and spiritual motivations, it is also unrealistic and complicates efforts to reverse language shift.

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REVIEW
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Cambridge University Press

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Deborah House, Language shift among the Navajos: Identity politics and cultural continuity. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002. Hb $35.00.
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Deborah House, Language shift among the Navajos: Identity politics and cultural continuity. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002. Hb $35.00.
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Deborah House, Language shift among the Navajos: Identity politics and cultural continuity. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002. Hb $35.00.
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