Language and Society

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Offline Antara11

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Language and Society
« on: February 02, 2013, 09:53:32 AM »
                                                       Language and Society

Social Relationship

Social relationship can be recognized into two types: primary and secondary.

Primary relationships are personal. The participants are close physically as well as emotionally. They know each other well and value their relationship not for what they can get out of it but for what it is. Here they are themselves and feel free to express their own ideas and opinions. They share the same values and have similar attitudes to things.

Secondary relationships are with people who live further away. These relationships have more members. The members do not know each other as well as in primary relationship. Their behavior is less natural and the relationship is valued for what its members can get out of it. Here values and goals are different. The interaction is one of giving and taking or transitional.

In addition to social groups to which an individual belongs there may be other groups to which he wishes to belong. In order to get a place or to move up in this reference group the individual will try to behave like the member of that reference group.

An individual in society plays many roles in many social situations and the language he uses is very much affected by his role. The individual has a set of codes according to his role relationship in the domain. The individual is therefore able to choose from the varieties of possibilities and skills available to him, the roles and language which are most suitable for the setting and occasion.
Antara Basak
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Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 10:39:54 AM »
Effect of Change on Language

Social changes produce changes in language. This affects values in ways that have not been accurately understood. Language incorporates social values. However, social values are only the same as linguistic values when the society is a stable and unchanging one. Once society starts changing, then language change produces special effects.

The use of language forms a closed circle, since it is modeled on the circle of projection and introjection. The difference between the two circles is simply that the psychological one is based on individual meanings and the linguistic one on social values. This link between language and social values is one of identity, but only as long as society is static or is evolving slowly. In a static society, the language is the society. Society is its language. The two are one.

 Language and society are two different systems since the structure within language centers on the static signifier whilst the structure within consciousness orientates on the dynamic signified. In times of stability the dynamic structure of consciousness is put on hold, so linguistic values and social values are one. However, as society changes so the dynamic structure gradually comes into the foreground. Perhaps it is more accurate to put this effect the other way around: as the dynamic structure of consciousness becomes accentuated, so society begins to change. As society changes, social values and linguistic values begin to diverge.

Language contains traditional values – this is what is implied in the ideas of social conditioning and social learning. In a static society, traditional values are unquestioned. Hence social learning takes the form of social conditioning. Social conditioning is the unquestioned or confused adherence to social norms, and occurs when society is taken to be self-referential. Society is the judge of its own needs.

The only circumstance that normally breaks social conditioning in some degree is change. Therefore in a period of fast social change, chaos occurs as social norms are questioned, altered and perhaps even rejected. New norms are slowly generated. This chaos ensures that society can no longer be regarded as being self-referential.

In this situation of chaos, language is grasped as being self-referential. Then language is no longer necessarily tied to social reality. In such times, values change as the values within language change and we may witness radical innovation in artistic genres.
Antara Basak
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Dept. of English

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 09:48:26 AM »
lyk lyk lyk...(^_^)

Offline Antara11

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 08:34:11 AM »
Process

To explain how this process happens politics can be considered consider a static, unchanging society. This has conservative, even right-wing, social values and a rigid hierarchy of authority or power. Society and politics have coalesced into a uniform model of conformism.

Initially this model suited contemporary needs. But as evolution progresses and new needs appear, which cannot be met under this model, so the existing social norms become a handicap. This restrictiveness on human development eventually becomes challenged. Activists and non-conformists begin to initiate social change by confronting the system of authority. Thinkers give direction to new ideas on freedom and justice. Left-wing politics are born.

Social change intensifies emotional responses. These new intensities bring forth creative abilities in art. Change is always handled intuitively before it can be expressed in intellectual ideas. Art is the herald of linguistic change. New art is usually born in the catharsis stage of social abreaction.

Once new genres of art have become established, the intellectual attempts to verbalise their meanings and the reasons for their birth start to separate language values from social values. The clarification of such intellectual ideas is a slow process. Language is no longer necessarily tied to social reality: language becomes self-referential.

As social change moves into the stage of abreactional backlash the new linguistic values are sifted and only those needed to solve current problems are retained. Society again centres on right-wing politics ; such politics attempt to return society back into a stable, static state. If this attempt is successful, then the new model of stability is more in tune with contemporary needs than the previous model was. This stability occurs when social values have ‘caught up’ with the new linguistic values. Then once again society and language become one.

 The overall sequence is given in the diagram below. The arrows can be read as ‘leads to’. So left-wing politics leads to new art, which in turn leads to intellectual studies, etc.
Antara Basak
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Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 02:59:47 PM »
                                             Sequence of Social Change
 
The French Revolution misled nineteenth-century political theorists. Due to unusual circumstances, the peasantry became left-wing in their politics. This led some theorists to presume that being left-wing is the normal state of the bottom levels of society. Whereas, in my view, the normal state for all levels of society is to be right-wing, since the majority of people dislike social change and prefer traditional values rather than experimenting with new ones.

 Different genres of art may move through this sequence at different speeds and at different times from each other. So there may be mini-sequences of social change overlapping each other.

 The sequence of social change that I have outlined shows that any society is really a language community. The individual transforms his meanings into social values via language. Values have to become incorporated into language before they can become incorporated into the stock of social values. Language brings forth the social reality. Language creates society.

 This relation is not apparent in static societies ; it is easy to assume that society antedates language. Even ‘primitive’ societies are no exception. A ‘primitive’ society is one where language use is primitive, and indicates hunter-gatherer tribes – yet a tribe cannot be established until the necessary linguistic signs for authority are created.

Society cannot be created until a group of people has some values in common. And values require a language to embed them and articulate them. It is language that brings people together and keeps them together. Language always precedes society. Even in small groups this relation holds: for example, in a political discussion group the people come together because they already have, or want to learn, a common political language.
Antara Basak
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 11:53:42 AM »
                                                  Two Language Phenomena


1)   Ethnic Destruction

Language is modeled on the loop of projection and introjection. This makes possible a destructive cultural phenomenon. When a foreign language is imposed on a group (or ethnic minority) that group is eventually destroyed. When a person changes his primary language, or even his culture, he automatically changes his pattern of projection and introjection. Hence his needs change. His old way of life disappears.
There are two qualifications to this view. The rate of change depends on how related the languages are: the more related they are, the more gradual is the change. Secondly, immigrants may only speak their adopted language in their adopted society; they many retain their ethnic language in their family settings. This retention of the ethnic language slows down the cultural destruction of the group.
 Abandoning native languages leads to a ‘melting pot’ pattern of immigrant assimilation. This pattern cannot work in the long-term, since the immigrants’ sense of identity is destroyed. A new sense of identity cannot be created without community support, and this is often lacking for the immigrant.
A cosmopolitan culture is much better than a melting pot culture, and is better suited to the widening possibilities in choice of values that is opening to the modern world. Therefore, in today’s age of cosmopolitanism, it is bad politics and bad psychology to try to persuade immigrants to abandon their native language.

2)   Pursuit of Truth

Times of change produce a special phenomenon: the pursuit of truth. In times of change, social values (representing tradition) and language values begin gradually to diverge because they begin to reflect different needs, those of tradition and those of modernity. Within this ‘gap’ arises the possibility of pursuing the search for truth. This gap allows the spectator to view both social values and language as separate realities that are running on parallel courses. Truth is always the result of comparing the old with the new.
In a static society, social values and language are one ; there is no means of attempting a re-evaluation of existing values. Tradition is the only mode of knowledge.
Antara Basak
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 12:16:57 PM »
                                                           Sociology of Language

Sociology of language focuses on the effect of language on the society. It is closely related to the field of sociolinguistics, which focuses on the effect of the society on the language.
A sociology of language would seek to understand the way that social dynamics are affected by individual and group language use. It would have to do with who is 'authorized' to use what language, with whom and under what conditions. It would have to do with how an individual or group identity is established by the language that they have available for them to use. It would seek to understand individual expression, one's (libidinal) investment in the linguistic tools that one has access to in order to bring oneself to other people.
Antara Basak
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Dept. of English

Offline shipra

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 11:10:39 AM »
Good post, very useful for beginning level.

Offline bayram kocabas

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 09:45:44 PM »
thank you mss
BAYRAM KOCABAS/ TURKIYE

Offline nafrin

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Re: Language and Society
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 02:58:19 PM »
as usual informative