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Viewing: SOC 207 : Language and Society

Last approved: Sat, 23 Sep 2017 08:01:26 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:05:36 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
Major
SOC (Sociology)
207
032506
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Language and Society
Language and Society
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sociology (16SOC)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
Offered Every Year
Fall 2017
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Yes
3
 
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
SOC 295-001Spring 201717
SOC 295-001Fall 201615
SOC 295-001 / IPUS 295-002Spring 201629
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Walt Wolfram
William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture3232NoN/A
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote


Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16SOCBASociology MajoElective
Introduction to the intersections of language, society and the individual, and the role of language in social interaction, socialization, ideologies, inequality and social change.  Focus on language variation related to race, class, gender, and other social identities. Includes core sociological and sociolinguistics concepts, methods, theories.

Sociolinguistics has been added as an area of designated study in sociology at NC State.  Sociology does not currently offer an undergraduate course in sociolinguistics.  This would be the first such offering in the department. 


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Social Sciences
US Diversity
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Analyze how ideological structures surrounding dialects and social groups impact people’s life chances.
 
 
The following sample exam question and others like it will be used to access their knowledge of ideology, society, and language.

1) José followed by Charles call into a leasing company to ask about the availability of an apartment. Charles speaks relatively unaccented English, while José speaks a heavily accented variety. José is told the apartment has been rented but Charles is told it’s available. What linguistic process is happening here?

a. Linguistic distinction
b. Linguistic regularity
c. Linguistic subordination
d. Linguistic exaltation
 
 
Apply quantitative and qualitative methods to the investigation of sociologically informed question(s) about language and society.
 
 
Exam short essay question: Choose one of the following three research questions. Propose a study you could carry out to investigate this question. Be should to say what your variables will be, to describe your methods of investigation, and hypotheses. Make clear whether you'll carry out qualitative or quantitative analysis.

(i) Does socioeconomic status affect attitudes towards foreign accents?

(ii) Is linguistic profiling a guise for racial discrimination?

(iii) Do women use more emotional language language than men?
 
 
Apply sociological concepts to real-world issues of spoken language
 
 
Sample essay question. Throughout the semester we have discussed the concept of meritocracy (aka the American Dream, pulling oneself up by your bootstraps, and/or the Achievement Ideology) which says that if you work hard and preserver you will get the reward you deserve (economic mobility and prosperity). How might this concept affect the treatment of people who speak a stigmatized dialect? How does this compare to the treatment of people who speak a “Standard Dialect”? Would these effects differ by social group membership? If so, why? If not, why not?
Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Compare and contrast the approaches to language that are used in Sociology and Linguistics.
 
 
The following essay question is a part of the final exam.

Throughout the semester we consider the idea of meritocracy (aka the American Dream, pulling oneself up by your bootstraps, and/or the Achievement Ideology) which says that if you work hard and persevere you will get the reward you deserve (economic mobility and prosperity). This idea exists alongside the idea of a “proper English” which is the “right way” to speak. Identify and compare the way that sociology and linguistics conceptualizes dialect differences, their impact on life chances, and what each recommends for changing the situation.
 
 
Identify connections between linguistic subordination and social inequality.
 
 
Sample test question. José and Charles separately call into a leasing company to ask about the availability of an apartment. Charles speaks relatively unaccented English, while José speaks a heavily accented variety. José is told the apartment has been rented but Charles is told it’s available. What linguistic process is happening here?

a. Linguistic distinction
b. Linguistic regularity
c. Linguistic subordination
d. Linguistic exaltation
 
 
Formulate plans of action for changing racial and sexual discrimination using approaches from both Sociology and English Linguistics.
 
 
The following essay prompt for a midterm or final exam is used to see how well they are able to synthesize the materials into a concrete plan of action.

Humans are social beings, and as such have created a social system which we live in. This social system is not fair to all groups; however, humans are capable of making choices, which have political, economic, and personal consequences. How do the actions of individuals impact the structure of social relations and how does the structure of social relations constrain the actions of individuals? What changes could we make that would allow for less negative consequences being attached to the linguistic identity that people perform? Provide a concrete plan-of-action — incorporating both linguistic policy and social policy — that could lead to greater equality among groups."
 
 
Sociology and English Linguistics
 
 
The class was co-developed by Dr. Walt Wolfram, a professor in English Linguistics, and Michael Fox, a graduate student in the Sociology PhD program. The readings for each week are structured such that there are complementary readings from each discipline that illustrate the issues from both perspectives. Students will spend much of class time engaging in group activities and discussions that are focused on identifying the areas’ of overlap and synthesizing the approaches. Any lecture time will be focused on key points of overlap between the two disciplines broken up by activities designed to help students combine the unique elements from each approach.
Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 
Analyze how social identities are historically constructed within and between social institutions such that it leads to differential social valuation of some identities.
 
 
Sample exam essay question:

Despite the fact that even in 1790, 75% of the U.S. population spoke English and that this number has only increased since then, there is still a pervasive fear that languages other than English are going to take over and ruin American Culture and Identity. Briefly explain how this mismatch between reality and public opinion comes about and what consequences it has for both monolingual English speakers and bilingual speakers. Be specific and use examples.
 
 

 
 

 
 
Examine how social identities based on race, gender, and class are expressed via dialect variation.
 
 
The journal assignments (per topic; see syllabus) listed bellow are designed to elicit critical examination of dialects, identities, and social characteristics.

Each student will complete 5 reflection journals over the course of the semester (see schedule for due dates). Reflection journal entries should be submitted via Moodle by the start of class on their due date. Each reflection journal entry should connect to one or more of the readings in the current topic unit (see schedule for topics). This reflection should demonstrate not only that you completed the readings, but that also you critically reflected upon their content and made connections to at least two of the following options:
1) Other concepts and/or content covered in the class (readings, discussions, and/or lectures)
2) News articles that relate to an aspect of what is being learned in this class
3) Research from your group project
4) Content from other classes that you’ve taken that supports or contradicts the material
5) Personal experiences outside of class with the topic under discussion
6) The social, political, and/or economic consequences of linguistic and social identity choices
Requisites and Scheduling
100
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
N/A
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
N/A
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
None
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 

 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 

 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 

We will be utilizing Moodle weekly in this course: all course readings will available via Moodle, and all out-of-class assignments will be turned in on Moodle.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1. Compare and contrast the approaches to language that are used in Sociology and Linguistics. 

2. Examine how social identities based on race, gender, and class are expressed via dialect variation.

3. Analyze how social identities are historically constructed within and between social institutions such that it leads to differential social valuation of some identities.

4. Apply sociological concepts to real-world issues of spoken language.

5. Identify connections between linguistic subordination and social inequality.

6. Analyze how ideological structures surrounding dialects and social groups impact people’s life chances.

7. Apply quantitative and qualitative methods to the investigation of sociologically informed question(s) about language and society.

8. Formulate plans of action for changing racial and sexual discrimination using approaches from both Sociology and English Linguistics.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Project15%Group research project, including Research Proposal, Detailed Outline, and Group Presentation (see syllabus for details)
Homework30%Reflection journals, per topic (see syllabus for details)
Forum_post15%Weekly discussion questions (see syllabus for details)
Midterm15%(see syllabus for details)
Final Exam15%(see syllabus for details)
Participation10%Participation in in-class discussions, in-class group work/discussions/activities, and in group project, as well as attendance (see syllabus for details)
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introduction to Sociology and Sociolinguisticssee syllabusSee syllabus
Ideology and LanguageSee syllabus
Social Status and ClassSee syllabus
Gender and SexualitySee syllabus
Race, Ethnicity, and CitizenshipSee syllabus
Challenging the DiscourseSee syllabus

aeherget (Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:02:10 GMT): AECHH: Uploaded updated syllabus at instructor's (Caroline Myrick) request via email 8/13/2017.
aeherget (Tue, 29 Aug 2017 15:02:29 GMT): AECHH: Uploaded updated syllabus at instructor's (Caroline Myrick) request via email 8/29/2017.
Key: 13948