Linguistic anthropology is defined as ‘an interdisciplinary field dedicated to the study of language as a cultural resource and speaking as a cultural practice’ (Duranti, 2001) or ‘investigate the relationship between communication and culture’ (Sociology and Anthropology Website, 2010). It is also ‘the study the role language plays in culturally patterned behavior’ (Stanton, 2000).
This branch of anthropology utilizes ‘detailed documentation’ of people’s communicative interaction with each other in any social activity. It also focuses on subjective research through oral interviews, recorded transcription and active participation of the subjects. It has garnered interest from the academic field as more studies had been made with credible sources and maintaining the emphasis on systematic and empirical research.
Language and culture are the key factors in the linguistic anthropology; it was often pointed out with linguists that children learn the language along with their society’s culture at the same time. Grammar, syntax, accent, dialects often arrived with surprising results. This branch of study often concludes the identity of the speakers; how they speak, why certain accents are received with prejudice or acceptance, etc.
Having a linguist working with me, specializing in Political Science would be a very interesting and intellectual camaraderie. Culture is one of the significant factors in the Political Science field; its study is usually of game play of power and how to apply such influence on people. Linguistic anthropology’s methodology is also similar to that of Political Science. Interaction is necessary to achieve favor from the public masses whether for political campaigns or public relations within the government.
Understanding different kinds of languages, even dialects, actually helped tremendously in comprehending the other parties’ identity in Society. Political Science is a study of power play and therefore must utilize soft power as much as possible to avoid damages in one’s society. Positive reinforcement to the different kinds of people, whether they are natives or foreigners, elite or poor, and men or women, would be impossible without understanding the language structure of the said subjects (Duranti, 2001).
References: Duranti, A. (2001) Linguistic Anthropology. Retrieved on 5 May 2010 from, http://www. sscnet. ucla. edu/anthro/faculty/duranti/reprints/02ling_anth. pdf Stanton, W. (2000). Linguistic Anthropology of Education. Retrieved on 5 May 2010 from, http://www. gse. upenn. edu/~stantonw/pdf/lae. pdf Sociology and Anthropology Website. (2010). What is Linguistic Anthropology? Retrieved on 5 May 2010 from, http://www. mystfx. ca/academic/sociology/anthropology/LinguisticAnthropology. html
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