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Social class and sociolinguistics

Social class and sociolinguistics Thisarticle makes the case for resuscitating social class as an issue in British applied and sociolinguistics. It begins with a sketch of the treatment of class in post-war social science in the UK, drawing out the implications for sociolin- guistics. It then moves to a fuller review of how sociolinguistics has actually handled class, and considers Bernstein’s work and its relationship to classic US research in the ethnography of communication, as well as the reasons from the ‘retreat from social class’ in discourse-oriented UK sociolinguistics from mid-1980s onwards. After that it offers a class-oriented reinterpretation of my earlier work on ethnolinguistic crossing and stylization, and it concludes with some suggestions for further research, stressing the need to develop interac- tional and ethnographic perspectives on class processes. Keywords: Social class; sociolinguistics; interaction; crossing; ethnicity. This article attempts to make the case for resuscitating social class as an issue in applied and sociolinguistics in Britain. Certainly, there is a great deal of contem- porary work on discourse, culture, power and social inequality, but this generally focuses on gender, ethnicity and generation much more than class. And yes, in ordinary everyday activity, ‘transportable’ identities like class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and age are http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Linguistics Review de Gruyter

Social class and sociolinguistics

Applied Linguistics Review , Volume 1 (2010): 22 – Jun 14, 2010

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © by Walter de Gruyter GmbH
ISSN
1868-6303
eISSN
1868-6311
DOI
10.1515/9783110222654.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Thisarticle makes the case for resuscitating social class as an issue in British applied and sociolinguistics. It begins with a sketch of the treatment of class in post-war social science in the UK, drawing out the implications for sociolin- guistics. It then moves to a fuller review of how sociolinguistics has actually handled class, and considers Bernstein’s work and its relationship to classic US research in the ethnography of communication, as well as the reasons from the ‘retreat from social class’ in discourse-oriented UK sociolinguistics from mid-1980s onwards. After that it offers a class-oriented reinterpretation of my earlier work on ethnolinguistic crossing and stylization, and it concludes with some suggestions for further research, stressing the need to develop interac- tional and ethnographic perspectives on class processes. Keywords: Social class; sociolinguistics; interaction; crossing; ethnicity. This article attempts to make the case for resuscitating social class as an issue in applied and sociolinguistics in Britain. Certainly, there is a great deal of contem- porary work on discourse, culture, power and social inequality, but this generally focuses on gender, ethnicity and generation much more than class. And yes, in ordinary everyday activity, ‘transportable’ identities like class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and age are

Journal

Applied Linguistics Reviewde Gruyter

Published: Jun 14, 2010

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