HDAA0361HU  AFLYST: Language and Social Relations

Årgang 2013/2014
Engelsk titel

Elective subject

Kursusindhold

Language is a key resource for our insight into society since it is intrinsically linked to social experience, impinge on personal and social identities, and highlights reflexive awareness of these. Thus, it is not just a tool that people need and use for basic communication at home, in school or in the workplace, but its accent, style, word-choice or grammar themselves evoke social meanings. Language can also be consciously designed and shaped to impress, to relate to others, or to flag particular identities and stances. The way language relates to social meaning and social relationships is the object of study for sociolinguistics.

Contemporary sociolinguistics is a fusion of descriptive, theoretical and applied accounts of language use and its social contexts. It is an interdisciplinary field, integrating insights from across the humanities and the social sciences, e.g. from anthropology and various different strands of critical, cultural, sociological, educational and media research.  Sociolinguistics is characterized by engagement with language-related social issues in the world beyond academia and is often connected to social policy debates about key concerns in contemporary public life.

This course provides an overview of recent research on these issues with a focus on Danish Society. Yet, the topics, the methodology and theoretical concepts we discuss reach far beyond the Danish cases. The course will include an introduction to sociolinguistics as well as to central methods and theoretical concepts within this field of research. The theory will be treated in close connection to empirical studies and we will touch upon topics such as, linguistic style, youth language, children, language and schooling, linguistic diversity, language ideologies, globalization as well as language and social media. The course provides students with analytical tools, theoretical concepts and ways of approaching academic questions that are usable for further studies across academic disciplines. At the end of the course students will be able to carry out their own small scale study of social aspects of language.

Society and Language Use (2010). Jürgen Jaspers, Jan-Ola Östman and Jef Verschueren (eds.). John Benjamins.

Working With Spoken Discourse (2001). Deborah Cameron. Sage.

Compendium (text collection, paper copies or electronic): Language and Social Relations.

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