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Mixed MessagesMediating Native Belonging in Asian Russia$
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Kathryn E. Graber

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750502

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750502.001.0001

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Performance Anxiety

Performance Anxiety

(p.169) 6 Performance Anxiety
Mixed Messages

Kathryn E. Graber

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks into the shame and anxiety that many would-be Buryat speakers feel in either not controlling Buryat at all or in not controlling the literary standard. It talks about individuals that are racialized as Buryat that expect others to be invested in the continuation of Buryat language and culture and to demonstrate their ethnonational belonging through the performance of good speech. It confirms why very few Buryat speakers can produce what counts as “good Buryat” and examines how it affects their tendency to count themselves in the minority-language public. The chapter describes ways in which media contexts heighten people's sense of potential disaster as revealed in interviews for television and radio. It also analyzes performance anxiety engendered by language shift, uneven control of the standard, and racialized expectations in media interviews that paradoxically motivates silence and furthers language loss.

Keywords:   Buryat, ethnonational belonging, minority-language public, media contexts, performance anxiety, language shift, media interviews

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