The Main Assumptions Underlying Bourdieu 's Conception Of Language

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Contemporary Social Theory – SG2028

Explain and assess the main assumptions underlying Bourdieu’s conception of language. 


Pierre Bourdieu was a sociologist who was concerned with mainly the dynamics of power in society. Bourdieu believes language is a mechanism of power alongside a method of communication. According to Bourdieu, the language one speaks will vary across different social backgrounds. By this we mean that if an individual is from a lower social class, they are expected to speak the fundamentals of the language however, if an individual is from an upper social class they are expected to speak the language fluently. For example, back in the 1700’s the way an individual spoke would reflect their social status. The only
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With regards to the socially constructed influence, its existence is dependent upon the communal production of dialectal statements. On the other side, with regards to the socially embedded force, its existence is contingent upon the communal surrounding of dialectal utterances.

An alternate crucial characteristic of language is that it is dialectically transformed. From the perspective of Bourdieu, this aspect of language works on three key levels. The first is the level of performance and competence. The second is the level of pragmatics and grammar. Lastly, the third is the level of singularity and commonality.

The signifiability of language is one of the most vital foundations of human signification. It means our capability to assign meaning to the world in which we find ourselves surrounded. In summary the signifiability of language is the meaning-donating function of language. According to Pierre Bourdieu, language allows us to see certain things and prevents us from seeing other things in a specific way. He believes that our vision and understanding of the world is indistinguishably related to our language about the world. (Bourdieu 1982d, 16)
The doxicality of language is the background horizon of language. Another significant component of language is that it is doxic meaning that in order to form a linguistic association to reality, it requires imposing typically intervened

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