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Basil Bernstein

Senior Soc sociologist presentation

Amanda Nothaft

on 18 March 2011

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Transcript of Basil Bernstein

Basil Bernstein was important to the field of sociology because: This is the problem that the working class children were having. They were never exposed to the elaborated
code, so they only used the restricted code. Basil Bernstein Sociologist and Linguist 1924 - 2000 Who was he? Why was he important? He was a sociologist. But he studied more than just
interaction between people. Communication! Communication! Communication! What did he study, then? His theory of language codes was a significant contrubution to the sociolinguistic field of study. Language codes are the principles that affect the language between members of certain social groups. This idea came out of his concern for working class children. Their math scores were equal to middle class children, but their language scores were lower. How does that
make sense? That's what he wanted to know. He eventually discovered that: Speech is affected by the relationship between speakers and their social status.

As Bernstein himself says, "the way language is used within a particular societal class affects the way people assign significance and meaning to the things about which they are speaking".
Basically, the way you speak shows what is meaningful to you at that time. He recognized two types of language codes. Elaborated and restricted The elaborated code does not presume that
there is shared knowledge between two parties.
It is more direct and explanatory, spelling
everything out to maximize understanding. The restricted code, on the other hand, expresses a complex statement succinctly because there is a great deal of information shared between those involved. THINK ABOUT
IT LIKE THIS a conversation with your best friend a conversation with a teacher versus Which would be which? Hint: Who do you share the most knowledge with? Here's an example: You tell the same story to two people, one a friend and another an aquaintance. "I was working on 'Amnesia' and couldn't get anywhere!
I was about to just throw a polar bear into it." "I was writing my narrative for Composition but couldn't think of anything to add. I was just about to improvise it all." Sounds like you're missing a bit in the first one, right?
That's exactly the point. Restricted code relies on everyone
knowing what is being talked about. You can apply information from his theory to your own writing and work. A So in conclusion, He came up with the theory of language codes.

The realization of the difference between elaborated and restricted codes helped improve education for children of all social classes. Including you! Sources used: Class, Codes and Control by Basil Bernstein



Can you think of any other examples of restricted language? How does this affect you? The End! Any questions? This presentation in particular is in the elaborated code. By keeping aware of which language code you are using, you can incorporate Bernstein's theory to improve your own writing. And don't forget! C
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