social class

Topics: Social class, Working class, Sociology Pages: 4 (1381 words) Published: December 1, 2013
How is the importance of social class and identity conveyed through a person’s idiolect? Idiolect is the different speech habits that belong to different people around the world. I think our idiolect is an important part of our identity because the way we speak shapes who we are and differs between different genders, ethnicities and social classes and without different idiolects there would be no variety in the society we live in. Bernstein introduces two opposing theories, the deprivation and difference theory. Bernstein’s deprivation theory suggests that the language used by working class children disadvantages their educational experience; working class children have learnt to use language in a way that makes access to the curriculum and academic achievement difficult for them. The difference theory offers another view that the educational system is to blame, that it believes is unsympathetic towards working class children and the negative perceptions associated with their language affect the progress of working class children. These theories show that the importance of social class is conveyed through a person’s idiolect and that the way particular social classes speak especially working class, affects the way they learn as in a disadvantage to their education. Bernstein also introduced restricted and elaborated code which is another disadvantage to working class children and the way they learn. Restricted code involves short, simple sentence structures lack of detail and narrow vocabulary. Whereas elaborated code is more complex and uses broader vocabulary and explicit meanings. We are all able to use restricted code but it is rare for people to use elaborated code unless from the middle class and upwards. John Honey offers an opposing view about Standard English and education. John Honey asserts that the teaching of Standard English in schools has been neglected in the mistaken belief that all dialects are equal and that the standard should not be...
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