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1 Proposal: number 40

40. ANTH 104: Language, Culture, and Society

Contact:Thomas Plummer
Authors:Miki Makihara
Thomas Plummer
Abstract:Language plays a very important role in our everyday life. Not only is
linguistic behavior the central focus of many social settings, but it is also
on linguistic evidence that we base many of our evaluations of the world around
us. Yet attitudes towards language and the ways in which we use language are
highly dependent on social and cultural factors. This course is an introduction
to the field of linguistic anthropology: the study of language use in its
socio-cultural context from anthropological perspectives. It provides students
with a history of the development of linguistic anthropology, its theoretical
and methodological issues, and case studies that illustrate the understandings
of language in sociocultural contexts and how linguists and anthropologists
engage real world issues. It aims to address commonly held misconceptions about
language as well as important issues such as appreciation of diversity,
multiculturalism, language policies, ethics and social justice. Discussions on
the sociocultural significance of language will be held by addressing such
questions as: To what extent does language shape our thoughts and identities?
What does it mean to know a language? Can we think without language? Do all
children follow the same language acquisition patterns within a society or
across cultures? What is the nature of sign language? How do languages develop
and change? What are the differences between language and dialect? How does
language reinforce or challenge social stratification? What is the
relationship between language and ethnicity? Do women speak more politely than
men? Do men and women miscommunicate? How do we study language use in its
socio-cultural context? How do conversations work? Do we need English-Only
laws in the United States? Why is Ebonics controversial? Should we do anything
about disappearing languages? Is English going to be the world language?

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
ANTH 104 2008-07-31 CV Submitted Dept
ANTH 104 2008-07-31 WC Submitted Dept
ANTH 104 2008-11-05 CV Approved GEAC
ANTH 104 2008-11-05 WC Approved GEAC
ANTH 104 2008-12-04 CV Approved UCC
ANTH 104 2008-12-04 WC Approved UCC
ANTH 104 2009-02-05 CV Approved Senate
ANTH 104 2009-02-05 WC Approved Senate