Stefanie Wulff
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Last updated: 5 June 2009

Ling 50: Language and Power

Course description

This class is about how language can be used to manipulate people's behavior by imposing a particular perspective or conceptual organization on reality. The discoursal contexts we will consider include the media, political discourse, courtroom discourse, or conversations at the workplace. Furthermore, we will consider the interplay between language and extra-linguistic factors such as youth, gender, and ethnicity. A major aim of this class is to provide students with the meta-language and analytical tools to describe, analyze, and uncover the various (strategic) biases in language towards particular forms such as words, sentence types, or abstract complex structures, and how these biases reflect, maintain, and create power relationships among individual speakers and in the "general public's opinion".


Course evaluation