Language & Identity: How We Construct Identities and Reproduce Social Hierarchies Through Language


Language is a central and pervasive feature of human identity through which we portray ourselves and negotiate social identities. With such practices we re/produce values, norms, social hierarchies, and the privilege these entail. Using examples from media, literature, and ethnographic data we will explore how speakers negotiate social identities through language and how ideas about it inform our understanding and interpretation of society and speakers within it. Topics include language, racism, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and ways that language and discourse construct and maintain a sense of belonging, otherness, truth, and value. Not open to students who have taken Romance Studies 207FS.


Not open to students who have taken Romance Studies 207FS/Linguistics 218FS

Curriculum Codes
  • R
  • SS
Cross-Listed As
  • CULANTH 217S
  • ICS 376S
  • ITALIAN 377S
  • SOCIOL 377S
Typically Offered