The Language of Names

The Language of Names

Book - 1997
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Baker & Taylor
A study of the ways in which names shape our culture argues that our identities and how we live our lives are tied up in what we call ourselves

Blackwell North Amer
Why are we so often annoyed when somebody gets our name wrong? Because our sense of self is involved, and our names touch on every aspect of our lives. Prospective parents pore over baby-naming books, believing that the right choice will set their infant on the right track. Immigrants change their names to assimilate into American society; blacks to recover their African roots or to establish an Islamic identity; movie stars to conform to Hollywood images of WASP-ness, high society, or exoticism.
Drawing on social and literary history, psychology and anthropology, anecdotes, and life stories, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Justin Kaplan and celebrated novelist Anne Bernays have created a fascinating account of names and naming in contemporary society that touches on class structure, ethnic and religious practices, manners, and everyday life. Their primary focus is the United States, which from its beginnings has been conspicuously preoccupied with identity, self-definition, and self-invention while sharing the concerns of other societies distant in time and place.

Baker
& Taylor

From the names we give our children to the names Hollywood gives to its stars, a study of the ways in which names shape our culture argues that our identities and how we live our lives are tied up in what we call ourselves. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, c1997.
ISBN: 9780684807416
0684807416
Branch Call Number: 929.4 KAP
Characteristics: 256 p. ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bernays, Anne

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