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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The problem of interdisciplinary frontiers comes out in the parallel stories of sociology and the study of language. This chapter considers these interwoven stories in relation to four major paradigms: social evolutionism, biologically inspired organic functionalism, the technical-system approach, and a social constructivism that places emphasis on individual and collective responsibility for outcomes. To look more closely at this question in relation to sociology and the study of language, it begins with the “certainties” of nineteenth-century social evolutionism and with the profound effects of the following century’s two world wars on the history of social thought. The chapter explores the relationship between sociology and sociolinguistics. Drawing examples from bi- and multilingual settings, the discussion shows how the sociology of language is a key part of the sociological enterprise.

Keywords: world wars, social evolutionism, multilingualism, social linguistics, sociology of language, organic functionalism, social constructivism

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