This seminar is situated in the broad field of sociolinguistics, i.e. the study of the social uses of language, drawing also on the theories of Gender, Queer and Cultural Studies. As Fishman has put it, sociolinguistics deals with “who speaks (or writes) what language (or what language variety) to whom and when and to what end” (1972: 46). This seminar will provide an introduction to the study of sociolinguistics through an intersectional lens. We rely on the theory of intersectionality (Crenshaw 1989) as an analytical framework that prevents us from considering social macro-categories such as gender, sexuality, class, race & ethnicity, etc. in isolation. Intersectionality helps us consider the mutual constitution of socially relevant categories. We analyze the positioning of these categories in social and historical contexts and analyze how individuals negotiate these positionings. We relate intersections with language practices of all kinds, by examining intersections as “vectors of influence”, as “inextricable and interdependent” units (Levon 2011:70). Furthermore, we situate intersectionality in terms of communities of practice.
Alim , H. Samy, John R. Rickford, and Arnetha Ball, ed. 2016. Raciolinguistics: How Language Shapes our Ideas about Race. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bucholtz, Mary and Kira Hall (eds). 1995. Gender Articulated: Language and the Culturally Constructed Self. New York: Routledge.
Eckert, Penelope. 2012 Three waves of variation study: The emergence of meaning in the study of sociolinguistic variation. Annual Review of Anthropology. 41. 87-100.
Levon, Erez. 2015. Integrating Intersectionality in Language, Gender, and Sexuality Research. Language and Linguistics Compass. 9(7): 295-308.
Levon, Erez. 2015 Language, Sexuality, and Power: Studies in Intersectional Sociolinguistics. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2006. Introducing Sociolinguistics. London: Routledge.
Trudgill, Peter. 2000. Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society. 4th ed. London: Penguin.