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What role does sociolinguistics play in shaping thoughts for political movements?

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Jaime’s Answer

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Sociolinguistics aims to take into account sociocultural background-- a consideration which makes it a potent powerhouse for supporting a political movement. Grassroots organizing can't succeed without intimate knowledge of the local populations involved. It would also be remiss to assume that understanding one layer of a grassroots organization is enough- in fact, it's essential that an organizer recognize that protest, thought, and yes, language are all socially STRATIFIED mechanisms within which we operate. A sociolinguistic lens is helpful for recognizing how some members of a community are over- or underprivileged, how their voices are shared/heard/ignored, and how equitable arrangements can be made for the success of the political movement as well as its individual members. I love sociolinguistics because of the value it appropriately assigns to everyone's mental capabilities, and how it seeks to find patterns that emerge from speech that some privileged groups would dismiss as less-than-language. It also has the potential to demonstrate great examples of community collaboration, from linguistic phenomena that arise from cultural contact. There is no such thing as apolitical sociolinguistics.
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Brennan’s Answer

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While I am not an expert in sociolinguistics, I do know the field of political science quite well. There has not been this kind of division like we are seeing in this country for a long time. Both sides are constantly in a state of campaigning and trying to raise money from the grassroots of their parties. This means communities are being engaged over and over again by different politicians for their donations, volunteer time, and most importantly their votes. From what I understand sociolinguistics is built into the political system because of its stress on the social sciences, which divides people into regions, classes, occupation differences, and even gender differences. Sociolinguistics relates to political science in that the way the language is written and used can show some people who are more liberal leaning or more conservative leaning. And then suddenly you have people from campaigns knocking on your door or sending you emails asking you to get involved in some way.
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