Interdisciplinary Studies Field

Language, Culture, and Identity

Field Description

In the ISF Research Field on Language, Culture and Identity, students make language itself an object of analysis through an interdisciplinary course of study combining the Social Sciences and Humanities. Courses can be found in Anthropology, Education, Ethnic Studies, Linguistics, Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Sociology.  The interdisciplinary study of language treats language as more than a tool of communication. Languages as patterned discourses are cultural products that change over time and that are conditioned (and confounded) by power and difference. In this research field, students study a variety of discourses from different historical moments and sociological contexts to ask a series of questions about language and identity. In this way, students explore the metaphoric nature of language while learning about cognitive processes, the nature of meaning, the controversy over linguistic relativity, the politics of language use, the dynamics of politeness and civility norms, and the tensions between language as a tool for authority, as an expression of resistance, and an ideal communicative practice.

Library Resources is forthcoming; meanwhile, please contact research librarian Jennifer Dorner at http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/prf.php?account_id=922

Recent ISF Senior Theses

  • We Are the Group: A Multiculturalist and Anti-Essentialist Approach to Women’s Roles in Conservative Religious Movements
  • Ethnicity and Progress: What Role Does Group Identity Play in the Development of New Towns. Jakarta, Indonesia, 1990-2010
  • Us Vs. Them: Nationalism, Exclusion, and Subversion in Northeast India
  • Performing the (Virtual) Self: Challenges in Identity Presentation Through Social Networks
  • Social Control through Persuasion Influence and Propaganda – A transnational investigation: What are the underlying issues when addressing health and healthcare?
  • Narcocorridos and Feminism? The Role of Women in Songs About Drug Trafficking
  • We Are One of You: The Rise of the Muslim Citizen in Europe
  • What’s In a Name? Naming as Identity Construction
  • Women’s Narratives, Violent Legacies, and the Role of the Feminine in Post-Colonial Caribbean Discourses About Family
  • Color, Time, and Space: Does Language Affect Perception?

Relevant UC Berkeley Courses

  • UGIS 120: Introduction to Applied Language Studies
  • Anthropology 166: Language, Culture, and Society
  • Anthropology 169C: Methods in Linguistic Anthropology
  • Cognitive Science C142: Language and Thought
  • Education 188F: Language, Race, and Power in Education
  • English 161: Introduction to Literary Theory
  • English 171: Literature and Sexual Identity
  • Linguistics C105: The Mind and Language
  • Linguistics 151: Language and Gender
  • Linguistics 155AC: Language in the United States: A Capsule History
  • Linguistics 170: History, Structure, and Sociolinguistics of a Particular Language
  • Philosophy 133: Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy 135: Theory of Meaning
  • Psychology 164: Social Cognition
  • Rhetoric 117: Language, Truth and Dialogue
  • Rhetoric 184: Language and Movement
  • Sociology 160: Sociology of Culture
  • Political Science 106A: American Politics: Campaign Strategy

Alexander, Jeffrey C., and Steven Seidman, eds. 1990. Culture and Society: Contemporary Debates. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Altmann, Gerry T. M. 1999. The Ascent of Babel: An Exploration of Language, Mind, and Understanding. New York: Oxford University Press.

Armstrong, Elizabeth A. 2002. Forging Gay Identities: Organizing Sexuality in San Francisco, 1950-1994. Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press.

Austin, J. L. 1975. How to Do Things with Words. Edited by J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisà. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Barth, Fredrik, ed. 1998. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Becker, Howard. 1953. “Becoming a Marihuana User.” American Journal of Sociology 59(3):235–42.

Bellwood, Peter, and A. Colin Renfrew, eds. 2003. Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis. Cambridge, United Kingdom: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Bernstein, Basil. 1960. “Language and Social Class.” The British Journal of Sociology 11(3):271–76.

Blommaert, Jan. 2005. Discourse: A Critical Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bloom, Paul, Merrill F. Garrett, Lynn Nadel, and Mary A. Peterson, eds. 1999. Language and Space. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Blount, Ben G., ed. 1995. Language, Culture, and Society: A Book of Readings. 2nd ed. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1998. “Social Space and Symbolic Space.” Pp. 1–13 in Practical Reason. On the Theory of Action. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1999. Language and Symbolic Power. Edited by John Thompson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bucholtz, Mary. 2001. “The Whiteness of Nerds: Superstandard English and Racial Markedness.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 11(1):84–100.

Burke, Kenneth. 1968. Language As Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Butler, Judith. 1997. Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge.

Cameron, Deborah, ed. 1998. Feminist Critique of Language: A Reader. New York: Routledge.

Cameron, Deborah. 2000. Good to Talk? Living and Working in a Communication Culture. London, England: SAGE Publications.

Coates, Jennifer, and Pia Pichler, eds. 2011. Language and Gender: A Reader. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Collier, Jane Fishburne. 1997. “Identity: From Villagers to Andalusians.” Pp. 195–217 in From Duty to Desire. Remaking Families in a Spanish Village. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Davies, Alan. 2007. An Introduction to Applied Linguistics: From Practice to Theory. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.

De Certeau, Michel. 2011. The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press, CA.

Durkheim, Émile. 1995. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Translated by Karen E. Fields. New York: The Free Press.

Durkheim, Émile, and Marcel Mauss. 2009. Primitive Classification. London: Cohen & West.

Fairclough, Norman. 1993. Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press.

Fairclough, Norman. 2006. Language and Globalization. New. New York: Routledge.

Fairclough, Norman. 2014. Language and Power. New York: Routledge.

Foucault, Michel. 1980. Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Gee, James Paul. 2014. An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method. New York: Routledge.

Gee, James, Glynda Hull, and Colin Lankshear. 1996. The New Work Order. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Gentner, Dedre, and Susan Goldin-Meadow, eds. 2003. Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Goffman, Erving. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor.

Gumperz, John J. 1982. Discourse Strategies. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Gumperz, John J., ed. 1983. Language and Social Identity. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Gumperz, John J., and Stephen C. Levinson, eds. 1996. Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Habermas, Jürgen. 1985. The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Habermas, Jürgen. 1985. The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 2: Lifeworld and System. A Critique of Functionalist Reason. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Halbwachs, Maurice. 1939. “Individual consciousness and collective mind.” American Journal of Sociology. 4(6): 812-822.

Hall, Stuart. 1996. “Who Needs Identity?” Pp. 1–17 in Questions of Cultural Identity, Edited by Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay. London, England: Sage Publications.

Hanks, William F. 1995. Language And Communicative Practices. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Hebdige, Dick. 1988. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. New edition. London, England: Routledge.

Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. 2007. Dialectic of Enlightenment. Edited by Gunzelin Schmid Noerr and translated by Edmund Jephcott. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hutchby, Ian, and Robin Wooffitt. 2008. Conversation Analysis. 2nd ed. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity.

Jameson, Fredric. 1979. “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture.” Social Text (1):130–48.

Janssen, Theo, and Gisela Redeker, eds. 2010. Cognitive Linguistics: Foundations, Scope, and Methodology. Berlin, Germany: Mouton De Gruyter.

King, Christopher R. 1989. “Forging a New Linguistic Identity: The Hindi Movement in Banaras, 1868-1914.” Pp. 179–202 in Culture and Power in Banaras: Community, Performance, and Environment, 1800-1980, edited by S.B. Freitag. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Kramsch, Claire. 1998. Language and Culture. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Kramsch, Claire, ed. 2002. Language Acquisition and Language Socialization: Ecological Perspectives. London, England: Continuum.

Lakoff, George. 2002. Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, Robin T. 1990. Talking Power: The Politics of Language. New York: Basic Books.

Levi-Strauss, Claude. 2012. Tristes Tropiques. Reprint edition. Edited by Patrick Wilcken. New York: Penguin Classics.

Markus, Hazel and Shinobu Kitayama. 1991. “Culture and the Self: Implications for Emotion, Cognition and Motivation.” Psychological Review 98(2):224-253.

Martin, Karin A. 1998. “Becoming a Gendered Body: Practices of Preschools.” American Sociological Review 63(4):494–511.

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. 1978. “The German Ideology: Part I.” Pp. 146–200 in The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Mendoza-Denton, Norma. 2008. Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1989. On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo. New York: Vintage Books.

Patterson, Orlando. 2001. “Taking Culture Seriously: A Framework and an Afro-American Illustration.” Pp. 216–26 in Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, edited by Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington. New York: Basic Books.

Paulston, Christina Bratt, and G. Richard Tucker, eds. 2003. Sociolinguistics: The Essential Readings. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Pennycook, Alastair. 2014. The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language. London, England: Routledge.

Saussure, Ferdinand de. 2011. Course in General Linguistics. Edited by Perry Meisel and Haun Saussy. New York: Columbia University Press.

Schieffelin, Bambi B., Kathryn A. Woolard, and Paul V. Kroskrity, eds. 1998. Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

Searle, John R. 1970. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. London, England: Cambridge University Press.

Searle, John R. 1999. Mind, Language And Society: Philosophy In The Real World. New York: Basic Books.

Searle, John R. 2002. Consciousness and Language. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sewell Jr., William H. 1999. “The Concept(s) of Culture.” Pp. 35-61 in Beyond the Cultural Turn:  New Directions in the Study of Society and Culture, edited by Victoria E. Bonnell and Lynn Hunt. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Simpson, James, ed. 2013. The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics. New York: Routledge.

Spillman, Lynette, ed. 2001. Cultural Sociology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Tomasello, Michael, ed. 2014. The New Psychology of Language: Cognitive and Functional Approaches to Language Structure. 2 Vols. New York: Psychology Press.

Whorf, Benjamin Lee. 1940. “Science and Linguistics.” Technological Review (42):229–31, 247–48.

Williams, Raymond. 2014. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 2009. Philosophical Investigations. 4th ed. Edited by P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Campus Resources