Social status


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Social status

  1. 1. Social status By: Zhian Fadhil Asaad
  2. 2. Class and status  Social class involves grouping people together according to their status within society and according to the groups they belong to.  Different social classes can be distinguished by inequalities in such areas as power, authority, wealth, working and living conditions, life-styles, life-span, education, religion, and culture.  status: Social positions that society assigns to its members, or the differences between social groups, in terms of the prestige associated with them by others.
  3. 3. Class and status Sociolinguistics started with frischer’s 1958 study of schoolchildren in New England. He found that g-drooping wasn't random as some linguist had assumed most variation to be. because there were no categorical rules when it happened, there were clear probabilistic constrains that is (g-drooping) was more likely in some context. Frischer found linguistic constrains which means, linguistic factors that govern the use of particular variant) on (g-drooping) in his data: 1. It was less common with formal verbs rather than informal verbs. 2. He found clear social constrains,(social factors like sex or age that govern the use of particular variant),he found that boys g-drooping more than girls, working class students g-drooping more than middle- class students.
  4. 4. Sociolinguistics have expanded on ever since:  Most societies divided into groups with different status.  Some linguistic functions are variable–that is , they can be expressed in two or more ways called variants.  Sometimes linguistic variation seems to have no meaning at all, e.g.: Give her the book and Give the book to her But often one of the variants becomes associated with higherstatus and acquires prestige. Or, more likely another one becomes associated with lower-status groups & acquires stigma.
  5. 5. Determining social class or status Karl Marx(Marx &Engels1848), he identified two antagonistic classes: Capitalists: who owned the means of production. Proletariat: who worked for Capitalists. Frischer’s idea elaborated and turned into a sub discipline with Labov’s work in New York city,& Trudgil in Norwich often determine a speaker’s class membership through a complex scorecard involving type of home , neighbourhood, income, & occupational prestige.
  6. 6. Labov’s famous department store study (2006/1966) introduced the idea of borrowing prestige that is speaker’s setting &the role that they're playing can affect their use of language features associated with a particular class. Jack Chambers(1995-2009) suggests that: People often try to talk like who they want to be, so we might want to identify people by their aspirations, not their current status. when Labov plotted rates of use of variable by social class & formality of speech context, he found clear parallel lines, with classes staked above each other & increasing use of prestige variants with increased formality.
  7. 7. There was one exception: a crossover with the second highest group, when this group was speaking very formally, they used prestige variants even more often than the group above them, the people they were presumably trying to emulate. In another words they showed social hypercorrection, overdoing what they saw as the linguistic requirements of the situation. Linguistic insecurity: the force hypothesized to drive people to use a variant that is thought to be prestigious or correct and that is not part of their own casual speech.
  8. 8. Bourdieu &Boltanski(1975)suggested that we should assign speakers to social categories on the basis of where they fit into the linguistic market which means the importance of standard language in the social & economic life of the speaker. Linguistic features:  some features are Salient recognized within the community as having a particular social meaning. Salient: usually refers to a noticeable variant –one that stands out due to physiological, social,&/or psychological factors. Note: a variable that is socially marked , very noticeable & often discussed, called stereotype.
  9. 9. More about Linguistic features:  sociolinguistic markers : if they are just barely noticed, but speakers control how often they use them in different styles.  sociolinguistic indicators: they are below the radar but can be shown by large- scale study to be associated with particular social characteristics. Indicator: a variable that can show differences by age or social group and often associated with particular characteristics but is not subject to style shifting. Note: a speech community’s norms affect both markers and indicators.
  10. 10. Mobility Social mobility :refers to the ability to move between social classes, often determined by how defined class roles are in a particular culture). Social mobility plays a large role in how class and language influence each other. So it can be defined as movement from one class/status position to another.
  11. 11. caste In societies where mobility is more difficult and linguistic boundaries are more rigid, we use the term caste to describe a social group like this, one that’s very hard if not impossible, to move out of. "Caste" is the term used to describe the complex system of social divisions that pervades life in India. Note: Caste determines whom a person can marry, specifies what kind of work he can do, and even controls what he can eat or touch.
  12. 12. British class system was in the distant past fairly closed to a caste system, with extremely limited social mobility. Marx described there in the 1840s was then a fairly recent development associated with industrialization. And increasing social mobility during that time period increased the importance of language as a way of identifying somebody’s class. As a result a whole industry grew up around teaching nonstandard speakers how to linguistically pass for members of social elite.
  13. 13. Authors competed to introduce (prescriptive rules), this is where we get things like the math analogy (2 negatives make positive) to forbid sentence like(I don't want nothing). Prescriptive: an approach to language that is focused on rules of correctness, that is how language should be used. The result was middle class that again shows hypercorrection hypercorrection: When people go beyond the highest - status group in using new prestige features, often a sign of linguistic insecurity , typically when someone middle - class uses a higher class variant reflecting their desire for upward mobility (cf. Labov 1972b). Forms like ain’t and g-dropping were used by working classes & the nobility , but rarely by people in between.
  14. 14. An article from 1954by British linguist Alan Ross identified linguistic features especially vocabulary were then associated with the Upper (U) and non Upper(non-U) classes. These ideas popularized by the author Nancy Mitford setting off debate about class consciousness and snobbery. Mitford provided a glossary of terms used by the upper classes (some appear in the table 4.3 p52). Note:- A snob is a person who believes in the existence of an equation between status and human worth.
  15. 15. Sociolect It is a subset of language used by a particular social group or class, & also called social dialect. standard: The codified variety of a language , that is, the language taught in school, used in formal writing, and often heard from newscasters and other media figures who are trying to project authority or ability. standard gets much of its power from being seen as socially & linguistically unmarked. unmarked: The opposite of marked , that is, a linguistic feature that does not get noticed.
  16. 16. Peter Trudgill suggested that there were two kinds of prestige: Overt prestige: Positive or negative assessments of variants that are in line with the dominant norms associated with sounding “proper” and that people are aware of, often coinciding with the norms of the media, educational institutions, or higher socio - economic classes . covert prestige: A norm or target that speakers unconsciously orient to, with a sort of hidden positive evaluation that speakers give to (usually non-standard ) forms. The linguistic equivalent of street credibility.
  17. 17. Sociolinguist Basil Bernstein(1961)wrote that we could think of two kinds of English: A restricted code: which all children use. Elaborate code: which only some children get, and which better prepares them for the type of language and reasoning used in school. The following seem to be ideas that can translate across a range of sociolinguistic situations: Prestige:Variants associated with higher-status groups are considered prestige forms. Stigma: A negative association, something viewed pejoratively. •Power: An unequal or non- reciprocal relationship between two or more speakers, predicting who (or whose norms) will dominate an interaction. • status: Social positions that society assigns to its members, or the differences between social groups, in terms of the prestige associated with them by others
  18. 18. Thank you With my