An accessible overview of five major issues in sociolinguistics and the relationship between language and power
This book analyzes the key ways in which language constitutes and conveys power and social relationships in modern society. It offers selected readings that illustrate the thematic introductions and a set of tasks designed to guide linguistic analysis of data and to stimulate student discussion, in five specific areas:
• Multilingualism, Identity, and Ethnicity: examines the phenomena of linguistic diversity from the perspective of language planning and language policies, with emphasis on personal, psychological, educational, cultural, and political issues.
• Language and Youth: examines the languages of old age and the language of youth subcultures.
• Language and Gender: explores the claim that men and women use interactional communication styles based on power and solidarity, respectively.
• Language and the Media: considers the extent to which verbal interaction through mass media differs from other kinds of communication and its consequences in terms of power relations.
• Language and Organizations: explores the use of language as a tool of power in public institutions and bureaucracies and how control over individuals is articulated through a range of different discourse structures and strategies.
With a unique combination of selected readings and student-centered tasks in a single volume, Language and Power in the Modern World covers contemporary issues of communication theory and sociolinguistics, ranging from the global to the interpersonal.
Mary Talbot is Reader in Language and Culture at the University of Sunderland and author of Language and Gender: An Introduction.
Karen Atkinson is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Research in Media & Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland.
David Atkinson is Senior Lecturer in Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Limerick and author of Teaching Monolingual Classes.