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22 Mar 2012

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Week 6: what’s in a name?
Review (tambiah)
- god creates through naming = cross cultural creating social relations
- to thinking about how religious traditions involve ritual events to help
communicate with a divine person
What’s in a Name
- Pritchard: Nuer using names in how they collect and hunter
- Susan blum: name
- E.g. Juliet of capulet to Romeo of montague = Montague/ competing of
names/ her only enemy is romeo’s name not actually Romeo
o It’s only rose = the name is only arbitrary (in Sausser’s case)
o Romeo’s replied: that he can be baptized anew by Juliet’s love…
Performativity of naming someone by shakespeare
o Once we get our names = connected to the social world
Problem of romeo and juliet
Getting a name
- * ritual with some performative utterance (I.e. Baptism)
- i.e. “I name this ship the Queen Elizabeth
- initiation to a certain community = indexical link of the name to the social
- getting a name means constantly giving a name
o you create an indexical link back to the moment in time where you
first receive your name
o e.g. shaking hands and saying your professional name when speaking
to colleagues = Not so formal ritual *
- not always saying it but you’re always conscious of it
- Some nicknames = no connection with formal name (i.e. In south Asia)
o i.e. Bangladesh = nickname given by the priest used when around
same race only when she moved to Canada as an immigrant while in
university she uses her formal name all the time.
o nonindexical referentialist = highly contextual
- e.g. Chinese name = English speakers are not able to say chinese name
o language ideology = that’s your indexical link to the social world and
representation of that initiation
- ^ Blum, page 373
o set of forms that we are called or address
o great feel of sensitivity: social and occupational titles, pronouns,
introductions, status, nicknames and multiple names
o pronouns = 1st person, 2nd person = honorific, symbolic, etc.
- Blum on chinese introductions
o parent teaching their children to refer in the correct way
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