Interactional sociolinguistics : insights and applications.
The research reported in this thesis is basically applied in purpose. However the theoretical siqnificance of interactional sociolinquistics is explored by showinq that it is based on a philosophy of science which differs fundamentally from the versions of positivism which have informed linquistics over the years. The research methods consistent with this methodology are also outlined. The applied siqnificance of the sub-field is demonstrated more qenerally at first by examininq its contribution to the understandinq of the relationship between lanquaqe and context. Thereafter the contribution to the understandinq of this relationship is explored in more specific terms by examininq the role of contextual information in the form of culturally-specific interactional styles in the accomplishinq of prejudice and neqative cultural stereotypes in intercultural communication in South Africa. The siqnificance of this explanation is explored further by showinq how such an interactional account fits into a more comprehensive explanation of the causes of discrimination in South Africa, one that includes, also. structural explanations, and explanations in terms of the psycholoqy of individuals. This prepares the way for a consideration of the possible contribution of interactional sociolinquistics to solutions to the problem of discrimination both in South Africa and elsewhere.
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