Speaking Like a State: Language and Nationalism in Pakistan by Alyssa AyresSpeaking Like a State: Language and Nationalism in Pakistan by Alyssa Ayres

Speaking Like a State: Language and Nationalism in Pakistan

byAlyssa Ayres

Hardcover | August 31, 2009

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This book was first published in 2009. Alyssa Ayres' fascinating study examines Pakistan's troubled history by exploring the importance of culture to political legitimacy. Early leaders selected Urdu as the natural symbol of the nation's great cultural past, but due to its limited base great efforts would be required to make it truly national. This paradox underscores the importance of cultural policies for national identity formation. By comparing Pakistan's experience with those of India and Indonesia, the author analyzes how their national language policies led to very different outcomes. The lessons of these large multiethnic states offer insights for the understanding of culture, identity, and nationalism throughout the world. The book is aimed at scholars in the fields of history, political theory and South Asian studies, as well as those interested in the history of culture and nationalism in one of the world's most complex, and challenging, countries.
Title:Speaking Like a State: Language and Nationalism in PakistanFormat:HardcoverDimensions:230 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.63 inPublished:August 31, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521519314

ISBN - 13:9780521519311

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgments; Note on transliteration; Introduction; 1. Articulating a new nation; 2. Urdu and the nation; 3. The nation and its margins; 4. The case of Punjab, part I: elite efforts; 5. The case of Punjab, part II: popular culture; 6. History and local absence; 7. Bringing back the local past; 8. Speaking like a state: language planning; 9. Religion, nation, language; 10. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Today, when all eyes are focused on Pakistan ... Alyssa Ayres has provided an insightful analysis of Pakistan's domestic cultural complexities. ... Ayres brings cultural issues and trends squarely into the discourse of national polity. This is a rare feat."
-Vishakha N. Desai, President, Asia Society