ANTH 003 PZ -Language, Culture & Society
Description: This course introduces the field of linguistic anthropology, examining language in social and
cultural context. Students will become familiar with basic concepts and qualitative methods in the
social sciences, including ethnographic fieldwork and the analysis of face-to-face communication.
We look for ways of answering questions such as these:
• How do everyday conversational practices create solidarity between people, or set them apart from
one another? How does talk reflect and create relations of power?
• How do words combine with other semiotic modalities (gesture, facial expression, prosody) to
convey subtle messages?
• Why do miscommunications arise, even between people who speak the same language?
• How do children learn to speak not only grammatically, but also appropriately?
• How does language shape our thoughts or the ways we perceive the world?
In this course, we explore language as a complex form of social action-not merely a vehicle for
communicating thoughts and meanings, but a means of creating the social world. We consider ways
that language acts on us, and ways that we act through language: achieving relationships,
constituting identities, constructing norms and patterns of thought, and positioning ourselves and
others in relation to global systems of power and inequality.
Prerequisite(s): Please check course schedule for requirements.
For up-to-date information on current course offerings and details, please refer to the Pitzer class schedule on MyCampus2 Portal.
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