ANTHRCUL 272 - Language in Society
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
SS, RE
Advisory Prerequisites:
Primarily for first- and second-year students.
Other Course Info:
W.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course offers students an introduction to linguistic anthropology, the study of language in comparative social and cultural context. Some of the questions we will consider in this course include:

  • What is "language," and why do anthropologists study it? How and to what extent does speaking a particular language construct a culturally specific model of the social and natural world, a sense of 'reality'?
  • How do our linguistic perceptions influence the ways we recognize social differences, such as those based on ethnicity, race, class and gender?
  • How do linguistic practices and perceptions of language reinforce social divisions and relationships of unequal power?

In pursuing these questions, we will cover a range of topics related to understanding how linguistic practices contribute to the social construction of racial and ethnic identity, as well as discrimination based on these perceived differences. We will consider how judgments about "grammatical" and "ungrammatical" or "educated" and "uneducated" speech are ultimately grounded in social rather than linguistic factors.

Some of the themes that recur throughout this course are:

  • Differences and similarities across languages and cultures, including language structures, language use, and patterns of language change;
  • the relationship between language and social life, particularly relations of race, class and gender;
  • issues of language politics, including policies regarding bilingualism/multilingualism, the development of official and unofficial standard languages, and the social consequences of language change and language death.

Throughout the course, we will consider examples and case studies from the United States and throughout the world. There are no prerequisites for this class. Requirements for the class include a midterm, a final, and a series of short assignments. The materials for this course include textbook(s) and articles that will be available on electronic reserve.

ANTHRCUL 272 - Language in Society
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
12155
Open
9
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (DIS)
P
12157
Closed
0
 
-
M 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
P
12159
Closed
0
 
-
M 11:00AM - 12:00PM
004 (DIS)
P
12161
Open
3
 
-
Tu 9:00AM - 10:00AM
005 (DIS)
P
12163
Open
2
 
-
Tu 3:00PM - 4:00PM
006 (DIS)
P
12165
Open
1
 
-
W 9:00AM - 10:00AM
007 (DIS)
P
12167
Open
3
 
-
W 10:00AM - 11:00AM
008 (DIS)
P
12169
Closed
0
 
-
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
009 (DIS)
P
12171
Closed
0
 
-
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
010 (DIS)
P
12173
Closed
0
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


ISBN: 0135135680
Language, culture, and communication : the meaning of messages, Author: Nancy Bonvillain., Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall 5th ed. 2008
Required
ISBN: 9780195336382
Making sense of language : readings in culture and communication, Author: Susan D. Blum., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2009
Required
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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