Language, Society, and New Media : Sociolinguistics Today book cover
3rd Edition

Language, Society, and New Media
Sociolinguistics Today

ISBN 9780367465148
Published June 3, 2020 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents an interdisciplinary approach to the scientific study of the relation between language and society, language and culture, language and mind. It integrates frameworks from sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology and emerging strands of research on language and new media, in order to demonstrate how language undergirds human thought and social behaviors. It is designed as an introductory textbook aimed at students with little to no background in linguistics. Each chapter covers the main aspects of a particular topic or area of study, while also presenting future avenues of study. This edition includes discussions on:

● social media and the creation of identity;

● gestural communication;

● emoji writing;

● multimodality;

● human-computer interaction.

Discussions are supported by a wealth of pedagogical features, including sidebars, as well as activities, assignments, and a glossary at the back. The overall aim is to demonstrate the dynamic connections between language, society, thought, and culture, and how they continue to evolve in today’s rapidly changing digital world. It is ideal for students in introductory courses in sociolinguistics, language and culture, and linguistic anthropology.

Table of Contents

1. Sociolinguistics  2. Language and Society  3. Variation in Geographical Space  4. Variation in Social Space  5. Language, Personality, and Identity  6. Conversation and Discourse  7. Writing and Society  8. Language, Mind and Culture  9. Language, Media, and Social Evolution  Exercises and Discussions   Appendices: A: The International Phonetic Alphabet; B: A Brief Lesson in Basic Statistics; C: Koasati Phonemes and Alphabet; D: English Vowels  Glossary

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Marcel Danesi is Full Professor of Linguistic Anthropology and Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory at the University of Toronto, Canada. He has authored numerous books and articles on language in use and on applications of sign theory to language and culture.


This is a rare and compelling text. With captivating ease, clarity, and insight, this book inspires interest in understanding language, society and the media. Marcel Danesi is not only one of the great minds of our time, he is a wonderfully effective teacher.

Elliott Gaines, Wright State University, USA

This is a welcome addition to discussion of the interlocking roles of language and the media through which it works. Students and researchers alike will be delighted to receive Marcel Danesi’s thinking on the digital and web contexts that are driving, at what seems a dizzying rate, a qualitative and quantitative change in language use.

Nick Regan, University of Bath, UK

Marcel Danesi provides the reader with an up-to-date and accessible account of the most recent research in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and the new media through the use of clear and comprehensible prose together with useful graphics (charts, tables, figures) that reinforce the textual material to ensure that the student has a clear grasp of the content. Exercises and discussion questions provide the user with a mechanism to demonstrate a functional and practical knowledge of the content of each section. The discussion of important new concepts such as multimodality, artificial intelligence, and language acquisition in immigrant settings address the most current research in these fields.

Frank Nuessel, University of Louisville, USA

Danesi provides a compelling and informative survey of mediated language use featuring an admirable blend of inner (cognitive-psychological) and outer (socio-cultural) dynamics. The text brings ideas and methods from cognitive science, cultural studies and metaphor studies into conversation with foundational concepts in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology through lively prose and an abundance of vivid examples. Through the discussion of case studies and practical exercises, students and practitioners learn to be mindful of language use in historical, contemporary and cross-cultural contexts.

Jamin Pelkey, Ryerson University, Canada

The third edition of this book provides a comprehensive, thorough and up-to-date discussion of language dynamics, functioning and uses. In a clear, detailed and engaging way, and from an interdisciplinary perspective, the volume offers parameters and frameworks for tracing and understanding the relationship between language, culture, communicative contexts and media.

Michele Sala, University of Bergamo, Italy

One of the best texts available on the dynamics of language use and social change!

Fletcher Ziwoya, University of Nebraska-Kearney, USA

Engaging throughout, Danesi’s book brings together so many topics that students might choose to neglect were it not for the writing’s ability to incorporate them in a constantly appealing synthesis.

Paul Cobley, Middlesex University, UK