Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 3, No 2 (2009)

De l’indissociabilité du langagier et du social [On the inseparability of the linguistic and the social]

Bernard Lahire
Issued Date: 1 Feb 2010


The institutional divide between sociology (and, more generally, all so-called social sciences: anthropology, history, political science, economics, etc.) on the one hand, and linguistics (and more broadly all sciences of symbolic production: semiotics, discourse analysis, aesthetical theories, literary theories, etc.) on the other hand, constitutes a major hurdle for the understanding of so-called social phenomena and of so-called linguistic phenomena (symbolic, aesthetic, discursive, etc.). Scholars in social sciences are indeed used to describing and analysing the reality of practices or behaviours, of strategies and individual or collective social trajectories, of institutions and groups, of forms of power and types of domination, or of configurations of interdependence relationships (from the more ‘micro’ to the more ‘macro’) while ignoring almost totally the linguistic dimension of these various aspects of social reality. Looking back to a set of diverse prior sociological works – on academic failure in primary school, on domestic writing practices, on processes of embodiment of mental and behavioural habits, on categories used to perceive and represent reality, or on symbolic power – the author endeavours to show what the analysis of social facts may gain, in complexity and accuracy, from the consideration of the language question.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v3i2.149


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