Language and Institutional Encounters 1 • Institutional practices which people draw upon without thinking often embody assumptions which…legitimise power relations. Practices which appear commonsensical can often be shown to originate in the dominant class…and to have become naturalized (Fairclough, 2001:27). • While names, words and language can be and are used to inspire us, to motivate us, …hey can also be used to dehumanise human beings and to “justify” their suppression and even their extermination (Bosmajian, 2004: 9). Understanding the place of language in hierarchical societies • Language and ideology --ideology part of discourse • Language and social status ---status and authority non-partial Power and language • Coercion --through force or threat of force --institutions instruments for power --Example:Apartied • Consent --winning approval --less costly, less risky --discourse the instrument of power Discourse • Is Language (speech) as a form of social practice • Embodies Ideological assumptions • Social conditions determine properties of discourse Assumptions and common-sense • • • • • Implicit non awareness Authority and hierarchy as natural Aura of authority Assumptions embedded in language Hierarchical assumptions embedded in language • “If you take them right, you are going to be in pretty good shape… and of course, everybody uses birth control pills.” • Assumptions are ideologies • Ideologies are connected to power Language and Ideology • Language = Belief systems = social orders • Inherent superiority and inherent inferiority • Messages social order consciousness Development of ideologies about language • • • • • Standard languages Naturalization of language Only one correct form of language Standard language and nation-states Language and social control Non-standard languages • Less power • Viable alternatives: group solidarity • Resistance to power : French Kreol, Haiti Standard language becomes naturalized • • • • • Common-sense unquestionable Deviation as backwards, incorrect Part of everyday thinking: political Uncritical thinking Manipulative usage of language Language and status • • • • • Rights and values manifested in language Power of naming, classifying, etc The power of defining others Definire: to limit Right to speak and the right to name Language is not neutral • • • • Exposes attitudes, intentionalities Conveying authority Talk is part of social and cultural meanings Beliefs systems serve specific functions Summary • Importance of understanding 1. Language and ideology 2. Language and status Two ways of creating and maintaining power 1. Coercion 2. Consent Discussion question • To what extent are ideologies variable within a society, and how are such variations manifested in discourse? Discussion Question • What do you think is the future of most languages in the world? What can we do to prevent the death of these languages?