Challenges in the Social Life of Language
by John Edwards
John Edwards discusses some of the most important issues in the 'social life of language'. Many of these, perhaps in slightly different clothing, ... Show synopsis John Edwards discusses some of the most important issues in the 'social life of language'. Many of these, perhaps in slightly different clothing, have been important before; some have always been important; but all have attracted considerable recent attention and will continue to do so as we move deeper into the new century. Readers' attention is directed to some of the most contentious and highly-charged matters. Beyond highlighting topics of relevance, the book also emphasises their relationships to wider social and political issues, since linguistic perspectives can provide an important window here. The twin threads that link all the topics are power and identity. The sources of power, its expression, and its impact upon social, cultural and linguistic life will be made clear throughout, and so will the motivating influence of what has come to be called 'identity politics'. The two forces sometimes act in harness but they can also pull in opposition. One of the important features of this book -- often implicitly rather than directly stated -- is a plea for triangulation of effort. Every aspect of the 'social life of language' cries out for greater inter- and cross-disciplinary attention.