Language, Society and Power : An Introduction book cover
5th Edition

Language, Society and Power
An Introduction

ISBN 9780415786249
Published October 30, 2018 by Routledge
328 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Language, Society and Power is an accessible introduction to studying language in a variety of social contexts. 

This book examines the ways language functions, how it influences the way we view society and how it varies according to age, ethnicity, class and gender. It considers whether representations of people and their language matter, explores how identity is constructed and performed, and considers the creative potential of language in the media, politics and everyday talk.

The fifth edition of this popular textbook features:

  •  Updated chapters with new activities;
  •  Examples that include material related to youth language, computer-mediated communication, texting and electronic communication;
  •  New material on online mass media, fake news and Twitter as a form of political agency;
  •  More discussion of social media, social networking, memes and mobile communication;
  •  An introduction to the concepts of translanguaging and superdiversity;
  •  An expanded Gender chapter that questions binary gender identities;
  •  A companion website which includes more video material to support learning as students make their way through the book.

Language, Society and Power assumes no linguistic background among readers, and is a must-read for all students of English language and linguistics, media, communication, cultural studies, sociology and psychology who are studying language and society for the first time.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of images

List of tables

Transcription conventions

Preface to the fifth edition

Preface to the fourth edition

Preface to the third edition

Preface to the second edition

Preface to the first edition



Chapter 1: Language?

Chapter 2: Language thought and representation

Chapter 3: Language and politics

Chapter 4: Language and the media

Chapter 5: Linguistic landscapes

Chapter 6: Language and gender

Chapter 7: Language and ethnicity

Chapter 8: Language and age

Chapter 9: Language, class and symbolic capital

Chapter 10: Global Englishes

Chapter 11 Projects





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Annabelle Mooney is Professor of Language and Society at the University of Roehampton, UK.

Betsy Evans is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington, USA.


"Language, Society, and Power is an outstanding introduction to the field of sociolinguistics. It addresses topics and issues that are important in the linguistics field but also make immediate and clear connections to students' daily life… Whenever I ask classes if I should use this text again, the students always say yes – with great enthusiasm."

Joy Janzen, Stony Brook University, USA

"This latest edition is an excellent text to introduce students to Sociolinguistics… I particularly enjoyed the way issues of power and ideology thread through the text with up-to-date examples. Language, Society and Power is an invaluable tool for practitioners and any would-be-practitioner in the fields of language and society."

Ayo Amuda, University of South Wales, UK

"I adopted this text for my undergraduate general education course on 'Language and Culture' at National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan… Highly recommended!"

Victoria Rau, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan