How is the view of language identity interpreted?
How do you interpret the view: 'language has a strong identity component and individuals choose how they want to identify with a group through the language'?
Literature typically mirrors natural society. Therefore, when examining a text one must look at the language the author uses as well.
In any part of a country, dialect changes. In the United States, dialects can change from region to region (northern to southern) or from city to city (New York/New Jersey). Therefore, one can be identified by the dialect with which they speak.
Unfortunately, stereotypes often adhere to different dialects. Stereotypically, people who speak with a Southern drawl are normally depicted as illiterate given the way that they speak. People who do not come from the South then typically identify all who speak with a Southern accent as illiterate.
Authors tend to embed the dialect of the area the text takes place in into the work. By doing this, the author can either uphold the stereotype, depict the work as environmentally correct, alienate readers, or bring readers in.
Regardless, language has its own identity- much like mankind. Unfortunately, people live by their gut and maintain the stereotypes they have grown up with and, sometimes, this creates a linking with a group solely based upon language.