ERIC Number: ED332526
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Basil Bernstein's Sociology of Language: Deficit, Difference and Bewitchment.
Danzig, Arnold B.
Basil Bernstein's research on the sociology of language indicates that he views language as both subjective and objective. Subjectively, it structures an individual's intentions and thought processes; objectively, it preserves and makes public the store of knowledge of human society. The sharing of language is the basic way in which the objective world becomes part of the individual consciousness. Language gives the individual a way to organize and control phenomena and at the same time, language controls the individual. To classify Bernstein's work as an example of cultural-deficit or educational-disadvantagement explanation of school failure is to ignore the complexity of his formulations and other evidence that suggest he never intended his work to label working-class or minority culture as deficient. His work illustrates how children come to school with "different language patterns" built on social class and family relationships, but does not indicate what or who needs to change. Bernstein's sociology of language looks for ways to recognize and break the "spell" of the patterns taken for granted in language use. A 72-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bernstein (Basil)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1990).