The Oxford Handbook of Language and Social Psychology
Language pervades everything we do as social beings. It is, in fact, difficult to disentangle language from social life, and hence its importance is often missed. The emergence of new communication technologies makes this even more striking. People come to "know" one another through these interactions without ever having met face-to-face. How? Through the words they use and the way they use them.
The Oxford Handbook of Language and Social Psychology is a unique and innovative compilation of research that lies at the intersection of language and social psychology. Language is viewed as a social activity, and to understand this complex human activity requires a consideration of its social psychological underpinnings. Moreover, as a social activity, the use and in fact the existence of language has implications for a host of traditional social psychological processes. Hence, there is a reciprocal relationship between language and social psychology, and it is this reciprocal relationship that defines the essence of this handbook.The handbook is divided into six sections. The first two sections focus on the social underpinnings of language, that is, the social coordination required to use language, as well as the manner in which language and broad social dimensions such as culture mutually constitute one another. The next two sections consider the implications of language for a host of traditional social psychological topics, including both intraindividual (e.g., attribution) and interindividual (e.g., intergroup relations) processes. The fifth section examines the role of language in the creation of meaning, and the final section includes chapters documenting the importance of the language-social psychology interface for a number of applied areas.
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