Language As Social Action : Social Psychology and Language Use book cover
1st Edition

Language As Social Action
Social Psychology and Language Use

ISBN 9780805841770
Published July 1, 2001 by Psychology Press
248 Pages

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Book Description

This interdisciplinary synthesis of the social psychological aspects of language use provides an integrative and timely review of language as social action. The book successfully weaves together research from philosophy, linguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, social and cognitive psychology, pragmatics, and artificial intelligence. In this way, it clearly demonstrates how many aspects of social life are mediated by language and how understanding language use requires an understanding of its social dimension.

Topics covered include:
*speech act theory and indirect speech acts;
*politeness and the interpersonal determinants of language;
*language and impression management and person perception;
*conversational structure, perspective taking; and
*language and social thought.

This volume should serve as a valuable resource for students and researchers in social psychology and communication who want a clear presentation of the linguistic underpinnings of social interaction. It will also be useful to cognitive psychologists and other language researchers who want a thorough examination of the social psychological underpinnings of language use. Although this book is relevant for a variety of disciplines, it is written in a clear and straightforward style that will be accessible for readers regardless of their orientation.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction: The Social Bases of Language and Linguistic Underpinnings of Social Behavior. Speech Acts and Intentions: The Things We Do With Words. The Interpersonal Underpinnings of Talk: Face Management and Politeness. The Interpersonal Consequences of Talk: Impression Management and Person Perception. Conversational Structure. Conversational Perspective Taking. Language and Social Thought. Summary: Language as Social Action.

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Thomas M. Holtgraves


"Holtgrave's volume, Language as Social Action, is precisely such a bold attempt, namely, to bring together research from differenct areas with a view to understanding the role that language plays in shaping our social lives. Overall, this volume rises to the challenge of integrating aspects of the field of the social psychology of language from an angle that emphasizes language use as social action. It reads extremely well and is highly informative for any student who would like to enter the field of the social psychology of language."
Journal of Language and Social Psychology

"Bridging the gap between social psychology and language research, Thomas Holtgraves presents an 'interdisciplinary summary' of the literature on language and social action."
Discourse Studies

"It is highly recommended for students and researchers who wish to further their knowledge of the social psychological aspects of language use and for those interested in how an interdisciplinary awareness can foster new research questions."
Issues in Applied Linguistics