Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Theoretical and Historical Perspectives on Researching the Sociology of Language and Education

  • Joshua A. Fishman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_241

Introduction: The Sociology of Language

The designation ‘sociology of language’ is often used in conscious distinction to the designation ‘sociolinguistics’. The intent of this distinction is commonly relevant both to personal disciplinary orientation as well as to the level of data‐aggregation preferred by the researcher. From a disciplinary point of view, the designation ‘sociology of language’, rather than ‘sociolinguistics’, implies a greater concern with sociology than with linguistics, on the one hand; and a greater preference for higher levels of behavioral data collection (‘higher’ in the sense of more abstract, i.e., further removed from directly observed phenomena) and for higher levels of data‐aggregation on the other hand.

This contribution will trace the development of sociology of language and its key research approaches. It will consider the challenges of different research approaches and the relevance of those that focus on verstehende(understanding) and those whose...


Actual Speech Real Thing Elicitation Method Teacher Acceptance Language Shift 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua A. Fishman
    • 1
  1. 1.Distinguished University Research Professor of Social SciencesYeshiva University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Campus, BronxNew YorkUSA