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Posted: January 9th, 2023

Essay on Politeness

Essay on Politeness
Essay 2 (2000 words)
Choose ONE of the following:
5. ‘We use language to construct different identities in different social interactions. Individuals can be said to “perform” particular aspects of their social identity in specific situations.’ With reference to this quotation, discuss how ethnicity is communicated or performed in ONE or MORE communities of practice.
6. Choose a speech community with which you are familiar, and discuss the role of politeness in communicating status, solidarity and formality.
7. Identify a recent event with regard to language in the public realm (e.g. spelling, grammar, education, slipping standards), and analyse its discussion in the popular media, with reference to discourse, ideology and language attitudes.
8. Discuss why the study of language history “from below” in historical sociolinguistics is important for understanding language change.
“Performing Ethnicity in Communities of Practice: An Exploration of How Language Shapes Identity”

Language has the power to shape our identities and influence how we are perceived by others. In particular, ethnicity can be communicated or performed in different ways in different communities of practice, or groups of people who share a common goal or interest and engage in similar activities. In this essay, I will explore how language is used to construct and perform ethnicity in one or more communities of practice.

To begin with, it is important to understand that ethnicity is not just about shared ancestry or cultural traditions. It can also be shaped by language, especially in communities where language is closely tied to cultural identity. For example, in a community of practice where language is a central aspect of cultural identity, an individual’s language proficiency may be seen as a marker of their ethnic identity. This can be particularly relevant in multilingual communities where language proficiency is a key factor in social status and group membership.

Moreover, language can be used to communicate and perform ethnicity in different ways depending on the context. For example, an individual may use certain language features or dialects to signal their membership in a particular ethnic group in certain situations, such as when speaking to other members of their community. On the other hand, they may choose to downplay their ethnic identity and use more mainstream language forms when interacting with people from outside their community.

Furthermore, language can also be used to construct and perform ethnicity in online communities of practice, where language is often the primary means of communication. For instance, an individual may use language to signal their ethnic identity by using certain words or phrases that are unique to their culture, or by using language that reflects their dialect or accent. In this way, language can serve as a powerful tool for constructing and performing ethnicity in online communities of practice.

In conclusion, language plays a significant role in shaping and communicating ethnicity in communities of practice. Whether it is through dialect, accent, or cultural language features, individuals use language to construct and perform aspects of their social identity in specific situations. Understanding how language is used to communicate and perform ethnicity in different communities of practice is important for understanding how language shapes identity and social interactions.

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