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ManfromMiddletown:
So for example various words like democracy and the like have the same shared meaning to Swiss people in the four national languages.  But, the meaning is not the same between Swiss German and Bavarian German.  

So shared meanings are defined by national boundaries and not by cultural/lingusitic ones?  Is there not a very overt nationalism or at least nation state bias in this approach?

One could argue that Irish middle class values are closer to British middle class values than they are to working class values.  So what is the relevance of the "national" boundary?  Of course subjective statements like that are subject to hypothesising and testing, and may actually be untrue.  But what I am objecting to is the a priori nation state focus of the methodology.  Why not test by class, age group, occupational grouping, public/private sector, as well nas nationality, and see which (somewhat artificially defined) factor is the most important, rather than assuming that the nation state is some sort of ahistorical and pre-created given.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 07:01:13 AM EST
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Frank Schnittger:
So shared meanings are defined by national boundaries and not by cultural/lingusitic ones?
MfM's point is that there are ways in which, say, Swiss German culture is more similar to that of the other Swiss linguistic communities than it is to other German-speaking communities in other countries.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 07:05:26 AM EST
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I'm not arguing that national boundaries are not a factor, merely that you cannot presume, a priori, that they are a given, or the most important factor.  It seems logical that the citizen's of (say) Geneva - a cosmopolitan/international city will have more in common with each other (whether German/French or other mother tongue speaking - than they would have with a rural village in Bavaria, or even a (somewhat) comparable city like Munich. The more interesting/explanatory analysis may be by religious/non-religious background, age group, rural/urban, class, occupation, education level, linguistic abilities etc.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 07:30:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
I'm not arguing that national boundaries are not a factor, merely that you cannot presume, a priori, that they are a given, or the most important factor.

...

The more interesting/explanatory analysis may be by religious/non-religious background, age group, rural/urban, class, occupation, education level, linguistic abilities etc.

The question of explanatory power is presumably an empirical question, unlike the question of what is "more interesting".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 09:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So shared meanings are defined by national boundaries and not by cultural/lingusitic ones?  Is there not a very overt nationalism or at least nation state bias in this approach?

Not necessarily. That example relates to political concepts, which are intimately tied to the nation/state, but the in group/ out group can be put together entirely differently.

For example, a religious group group can have an understanding of salvation that cross national borders, but is incomprehensible to people who aren't members of that religious group.  For example, predestination versus good works.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 10:04:57 AM EST
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