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Language, class and elite groups

asked 2015-05-05 14:33:05 -0500


My colleague Adam Jaworski (Hong Kong University) and I would be very interested to hear from/about anyone working on elite/elitist discourse. In other words, people whose sociolinguistic and/or discourse analytic research centers on issues of class status and social inequality from the perspective of those in positions of privilege.

Many thanks and kind regards

Crispin Thurlow (University of Bern, Switzerland)

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answered 2015-05-06 03:57:08 -0500

A S Sundar gravatar image

Well,my reply may not directly answer your request but, I believe would help you in your search.Indian Caste System stands as an unique social structure of reinforced 'elitism' and 'inequality'.Sanskrit Language,was used as an instrument of'social supremacy and elitism'by the elite class.'Sanskrit'was claimed to be God's language and people who knew Sanskrit claimed God's representation as they can speak to God.May be this sociolinguistic area might interest you.

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Thank you for this response - much appreciated. You are right to draw my attention to caste systems as a site for studying language. Kind regards.

Crispin Thurlow gravatar imageCrispin Thurlow ( 2015-05-09 05:12:48 -0500 )edit

You are welcome.I may add that the term ' vernacular language ' means 'slave language '.'Varna' in Sanskrit,derived from 'Vannam' in Tamil used in Caste System indicates 'Colour '.Black' were treated 'low caste' based on colour and their languages called ' vernacular'.So this subject would be ideal.

A S Sundar gravatar imageA S Sundar ( 2015-07-21 09:40:48 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-05-05 15:36:15 -0500

Well, I'm not sure my research would be of interest, but I've studied the development of politeness as an ideology in English culture and this certainly has a lot to do with class, inequality and elitism.

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Thanks for this comment, too - also appreciated. Yes, politeness of very "classed", right? Do you find your work being engaged explicitly with class status and elitism?

Crispin Thurlow gravatar imageCrispin Thurlow ( 2015-05-09 05:14:00 -0500 )edit
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Asked: 2015-05-05 14:33:05 -0500

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Last updated: May 06 '15