In this course we examine how language use is tied to the politics of identity, and how relationships between individuals and groups are sometimes negotiated through choice of words. We will discuss the role of language not only in the expression but also the reproduction of class, gender and racial relations, and consider both the language of politics and the politics of language, especially some of the current debates around the role and status of English in the world. We explore “language ideologies” that underlie people’s perception and choice of language, and the effect of government intervention in such ideologies. We address critically such notions as the “standard”, “correctness”, and “native speaker”, in order to tease out a link between linguistic variation and social stratification.



Required reading

The course is organized around weekly readings. All readings will be available electronically or provided in advance in class. Students will be required to read all core texts before each class. 




100% coursework

  • 10% Participation
  • 20% Critical Response 1
  • 20% Critical Response 2
  • 50% Research Essay



Last updated: 28 January 2019