Chapter 2: Language, Power, and Privilege

Language is a central part of how we interact with one another as humans. Through language, we not only communicate ideas and information, we also express and construct aspects of our identity. That’s why we start this book by considering some of the social aspects of language.

When you’ve completed this chapter, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the relationships between power and language in a variety of scenarios.
  • Find real-world examples of relationships between power and language.
  • Use your metalinguistic awareness to interpret your own and others’ attitudes about language.


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Essentials of Linguistics, 2nd edition Copyright © 2022 by Catherine Anderson; Bronwyn Bjorkman; Derek Denis; Julianne Doner; Margaret Grant; Nathan Sanders; and Ai Taniguchi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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