How to Incooperate the Category Language into Sociological Analysis of Social Inequalities

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Susanne BECKER, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany
In my presentation, I will discuss the importance of language(s) in the production of social inequalities. Therefore, I will argue that the sociological studies of inequalities need to consider language as an important category. I will argue this based on the empirical finding of my Ph.D. project that was concerned with the links between social inequalities and language(s). I will argue that the classification of the linguistic other is an important factor in generating and legitimizing economic inequalities in society. Keeping in mind that citizenship and the entitlement to corresponding rights are one major catalyst of global inequalities in a globalised world in combination with the increase of ensuring citizen rights through language testing, language needs to be more central to the sociological analysis of global inequalities. In my presentation, I will also present some ideas how these sociological analysis can be enriched by linguistic methods of researching language in society. In general I will argue for a more interdisciplinary approach to researching language and society and discuss what sociology can learn from the (socio-)linguistic approaches to language and what a sociological perspective can contribute to the analysis of the nexus of language(s) and social inequalities.