Language, Culture and Society | Humanities & Social Sciences

Language, Culture and Society

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Course Objective

The course seeks to undertake a study of language as a social and cultural product. The role of language in the construction of collective identity, nationalism, ethnic and religious movements will be considered. Theoretical orientations to the study of language such as Structuralism and Marxism will be followed up with case studies on the interface between language and nationalism, language as social capital and language policy.


Course Content

What is language? How does it relate to the ‘collective consciousness’ of a society? How does language relate to ideology and when does language become ‘linguistic capital’? This course introduces students to some theoretical approaches to the study of language in social anthropology, such as structuralism and Marxism. This will be followed by studies of language movements, language policy in colonial and postcolonial India. The course concludes with questions of ‘free speech’, ‘hate speech’ and some debates on censorship.

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