LING 272 - Language in Society
Section: 001 Words Matter
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Primarily for first- and second-year students.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course introduces linguistic anthropology, the study of language in comparative social and cultural context. Some of the questions we address 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 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 consider, for instance, how judgments about "grammatical" and "ungrammatical" or "educated" and "uneducated" speech are ultimately grounded in social rather than linguistic factors. Throughout the course we use examples and case studies from the United States and throughout the world.

There are no prerequisites.

Requirements include a midterm, a final, and a series of short assignments.

LING 272 - Language in Society
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
Tu 3:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (DIS)
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
006 (DIS)
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
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