Language: Sociology and Cultural Identity Essay

Submitted By alys001
Words: 567
Pages: 3

English 125- Assignment #3
10 September 2014 Insert Random Title Language plays the most vital role in everyday life. It is how people understand and interact with one another. People express their thoughts, intentions, and desires through language. “A body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition”(Dictionary.com). Language is entwined in peoples’ daily lives; it is a part of them. Communication is the key to the purpose of language because of its ability to express ones feelings, socialization amongst people, and establishing a person’s cultural identity. People agree, disagree, argue, and establish their opinion. Language is responsible for voicing people’s feelings and because of that people can form tighter bonds. For example, in the short story “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, David Sedaris wrote, “My only comfort was the knowledge that I was not alone” (146 Mercury Reader). The fact that Sedaris’s classmates were feeling the same way as him and were able to communicate their feelings towards each other comforted him. Once they expressed their feelings and understood how similar they felt it made them feel at ease. Without language they would not have the ability to express themselves like that.
Socialization was created by language. People watch how others interact and converse with one another. A person can tell a lot from how someone speaks. For instance, if someone were in a job interview and he or she talked with vulgar language they most likely would not be hired. The way a person speaks shows what kind of person they are. Language has developed socialization to have this effect on people. There are social norms and certain acceptable behaviors. All this brought on by language; it is their ability to voice out what is acceptable and what is not. Much like language, social norms contrast drastically depending on the location. Language can be heavily tied into cultural identity because a persons language is who they are, it is what they grew up with and how they communicate. In the story, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua she writes, “There are more subtle ways that we internalize identification,…