This volume offers a comprehensive treatment of the historical developments underpinning our present understandings of the relationship between language and the social by integrating the study of language with key strands of sociological theory.// The book posits that theory conditions how objects are constructed and in turn the meanings allocated to them and explores the implications for the relationship between language and the social. The volume traces this relationship from its foundations in the work of Enlightenment philosophers, in which sociology and linguistics emerged as coherent disciplines. Taking this work as a point of departure, the book examines the unfolding of the interplay between language and the social across developments in sociological theory in subsequent eras, encompassing such strands as Marxism, functionalism, interactionism, anti-foundationalism, poststructuralism, critical theory, and critical realism. A final chapter turns its eye toward contemporary sociolinguistics and its treatment of different sociological perspectives and future directions for its continued development. // Reflecting on trajectories in sociological theory toward informing our understanding of the relationship between language and the social today, this book will be key reading for students and scholars in sociolinguistics, philosophy of language, and those working in sociology and geography with an interest in language issues.

chapter 1|34 pages

Theory as Meta-Discourse

chapter 2|30 pages

Early Social Science

chapter 3|26 pages

Marxism and Language

chapter 4|17 pages

Functionalism and Language

chapter 5|34 pages

Interactionism and Language

chapter 6|21 pages


chapter 7|34 pages

Post-Structuralism 1

chapter 8|34 pages

Critical Social Theory

chapter 9|36 pages

Critical Realism and Discourse

chapter 10|32 pages

Sociolinguistics and Social Theory