ANTHRCUL 370 - Language and Discrimination: Language as Social Statement
Section: 201
Term: SU 2010
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
LING 210.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this course we examine the interplay between language and ideological processes, particularly as they function below the level of conscious awareness. We are concerned with the suppression of linguistic variation; that is, with the development of a standard language ideology, which is understood to be a bias toward an abstracted idealized, (but ultimately unattainable) homogenous spoken language, modeled on variants favored by the white, middle American mainstream. This ideology is one of many social practices on which people depend without close analysis of underlying assumptions. In this class, we will look into those assumptions linguistic and social and about the arguments used to uphold them. We will examine the way in which these behaviors are institutionalized by the media, the entertainment industry, school systems, business community, and the judicial system, all of which promote standard language ideology and underwrite assimilatory and often discriminatory practices, the goal of which is to suppress perfectly functional language variation intimately linked to homeland, race, ethnicity, ability (e.g., as it relates to the use of signed rather than spoken languages), or gender. We will look at issues of language choice and accent as legal issues in the courts, including battles about hate speech. This course should be of interest to those concerned with non-mainstream language varieties as a cultural resource and asset, historical heritage, and potential complication in supre-cultural communication. An introductory linguistics course would be helpful but is not essential.

ANTHRCUL 370 - Language and Discrimination: Language as Social Statement
Schedule Listing
201 (LEC)
TuWTh 2:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

This course examines the role of language as social statement and social conflict, particularly with respect to questions of race and ethnicity. It looks at issues concerning language-based discrimination in various public and private contexts and at beliefs about language and language variation.
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