Sociolingvistički pristup ideologiji / Sociolinguistic Approaches to the Ideology


  • Dušan Jevtović



sociolinguistics, ideology, language, speech codes, social environments, structuralism, individualism


In the thesis named "The Savage against Civilization: the Sociolinguistic Analysis of Images of Native Americans in Western" is given a specific approach to research of the ideological and stylistic characteristics of images of the Indians and Indian wars in classical and contemporary Western, as well as their connections with appropriate social conditions. Besides the analysis of the chosen movies, this research required: 1) an insight into a historical causality of given images and into their genealogy; 2) an insight into their function in the context of a popular movie genre; 3) the review of a sociolinguistic theory of Basil Bernstein and of its anthropological application in the work of Mary Douglas; 4) finding a way of using a sociolinguistic theory on the film language. The basic concepts of Bernstein’s theory – studies about the two speech codes (restricted and elaborated), which are conditioned by different social circumstances and are conducive to different ideologies – here are applied on mostly mutually opposing views of Indians-whites conflicts in classical and contemporary Western. As examples for classical Western I used those from John Ford’s movies (Stagecoach, Rio Grande, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers, Cheyenne Autumn), and for those from contemporary Western, after the precursors from fifties (Broken Arrow, Apache) I took revisionist movies from 1970 (Little Big Man, Soldier Blue) and post-revisionist Western Dances with Wolves. The thematic and sociolinguistic analysis of images from these movies confirmed a rule which can be also seen in some images from the past centuries: a noble savage and a bad savage persist as opposition to Western civilization throughout different periods of the genre, changing some of their characteristics in accordance with the historical context. Furthermore, the assumption about the crucial importance of the style usage in shaping of different ideological views was confirmed in accordance with a sociolinguistic theory.

Author Biography

Dušan Jevtović

Independent theoretician of arts and media


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How to Cite

Jevtović, D. (2014). Sociolingvistički pristup ideologiji / Sociolinguistic Approaches to the Ideology. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (5), 89–99.