Social Class Theorists

mind map of social class theorists and findings/ideas etc.

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  • Social Class Theorists
    • Milroy - Belfast Study 1980
      • Open networks: Mainly women. All in contact with middle speaker. Family friends etc. might speak similar.
      • 3 working class communities.
      • Closed network; mainly men. Affected by occupation. Acquainted with all different speakers.
    • Petyt- Bradford 1980
      • Dropping the 'H' sound particularly at beginning of words E.g. 'ouse, 'ave = house, have
        • Found close link between this and social class. UM- 12% LM- 28% UW-67%  LW-93%
    • Labov (New York dept. store) 1966
      • studied the final/ preconsonantal 'r' in words like 'guard' and 'beer'. In NYC the 'r' sound holds prestige.
      • Got sales assistants to say 'fourth floor' in 1. Sacks, upper 2. Macy's, middle 3. Klein's working (ordered by price and fashion.)
    • Labov - Martha's Vineyard
      • East Coast USA, 3 miles off new England. 6,000 residents permanently, 40,000= summer people.
      • younger college students deliberately diverged pronunciations away from standard norms - rejected the summer people.
      • They downwardly converged to the fishermen (close knit community)
    • Bernstein - Elaborated and restricted codes
      • RESTRICTED- limited, predictable, ritualistic, difficulty with abstract concepts - WORKING CLASS
      • ELABORATED- age, a range of alternatives, unique range of social situations - MIDDLE CLASS
    • Beryl Bainbridge 1999
      • 'All children should be forced to have compulsory elocution lessons to erase traces of their regional accents.'
    • Cheshire- Reading Study 1982
      • Focus on grammatical variants. Recorded non-standard features and their frequency. E.g. non-stan 'S' 'They calls me names', non-stan 'was' 'you was with me, wasn't you?', Double negative 'ain't got no...'
      • ...Non-stan 'never' 'I never went to school today'- used for gender ad social class
      • Findings: age doesn't vary results in social class and lang use in girls. Boys in peer groups show more working class features regardless of social class
    • Trudgill - Norwich Study 1980's.
      • investigate the variations in speech. Looked at: final consonants E.g. Running Standard eng = 'ng' Whereas Norwich = in' is common due to isolation from Lon-Ox-Cam.
      • Other findings: In all classes the more careful the speech = more likely to say (n') E.g. Interview, above people. Lower class= more proportion of (walkin')
      • More common in men in all classes than women.
    • Raymond Hickey - Dublin English
      • Studied accent in Dublin (80-90s) Typical features... Consonant 'th' to 't' or 'd', Deletion of 't' or 'd' sounds that come after L or N. E.g. Frien- Friend, Smel- Smelt.
      • More Features... Closed vowels E.g. vowel with two consonants 'Dog', Diphthongs - vowel sound with two parts E.g. 'Beer', 'Clean'.
      • Attitudes have changed since, Now people try ad sound more like RP.
    • Paul Kerswill - Milton Keynes 1994
      • 1969- Milton Keynes becomes a larger town. (close to London, people move there for work.)
      • Study of children's lang+ 1 caregiver per child. Koine- formed a new language (koinezation) - formed language through contact.
      • Population change: 44,000-176,330 study of 8-12 year olds?
    • Kevin Watson- Liverpool 21st Century
      • Found that Liverpool is a 'dialectal island' - Scouse is resisting levelling, sustaining identity and solidarity.


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