The Intersections of Language Socialization and Sociolinguistics

Karen Ann Watson-Gegeo and Matthew C. Bronson

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199744084
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Intersections of Language Socialization and Sociolinguistics


First- and second-language-acquisition researchers have increasingly adopted language socialization (LS) as a productive and realistic strategy for examining the intertwined relationships among language, culture, and learning. This chapter reviews recent developments in LS in relation to sociolinguistics, with an emphasis on work in bilingual and multilingual situations cross-culturally. It argues for the value of accelerating the current shift in sociolinguistics from interdisciplinary toward transdisciplinary inquiry. Interdisciplinary work is interactive, combining theory, methods, and practices to address questions difficult to tackle with the tools of a single discipline. It adapts but does not challenge existing boundaries. In contrast, transdisciplinary inquiry problematizes disciplinary compartmentalization as imposing limits in creating useful knowledge to address complex issues. The discussion suggests a framework for evaluating sociolinguistic LS research, concluding that the best LS research always involves a commitment to benefit the communities studied.

Keywords: sociolinguistics; linguistic anthropology; multilingualism; transdisciplinary inquiry; interdisciplinary work; language acquisition

Article.  8679 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »