Sociocultural Linguistics

Professor Mary Bucholtz giving a presentation.Sociocultural linguistics represents a unique research perspective in the UCSB Department of Linguistics. Encompassing research traditions including sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, discourse analysis, and others, sociocultural linguistics focuses on how discourse mediates the enactment of social life and the construction of the social world. UCSB researchers in sociocultural linguistics draw on such approaches as ethnography, interactional linguistics, conversation analysis, corpus linguistics, discourse transcription, video analysis, and quantitative analysis. Sociocultural linguistics contributes to research on linguistic structure at UCSB by clarifying how a speaker’s selection of particular linguistic structures is influenced by the social and interactional contexts in which they are deployed. Sociocultural linguistic research in the department includes work on epistemic and affective stance and on subjectivity and intersubjectivity in interaction, as well as research on the linguistic construction of social identities based on gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, age, and other factors; the linguistic and discourse representation of speech and speakers; and the linguistic and cultural ideologies that shape language use.

Core Faculty

Mary Bucholtz, Simon ToddLal Zimman


Linguistics 201: Research Methodology and Statistics in Linguistics
Linguistics 212: Discourse Transcription
Linguistics 223: Languages in Contact
Linguistics 227: Language as Culture
Linguistics 228: Discourse in Sociocultural Interaction
Linguistics 230: Methods in Sociocultural Linguistics
Linguistics 232: Foundations of Sociocultural Linguistics
Linguistics 233: Language, Gender, and Sexuality
Linguistics 258A-B: Seminar in Sociocultural Linguistics
Linguistics 273A: Language and the Body
Linguistics 274: Proseminar in Language, Interaction, and Social Organization


Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO)
Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphasis in Women's Studies
Resources for Sociocultural Linguistics
The Language and Gender Page