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TOK Language Presentation

How is society shaped by language

Shadae Brown

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of TOK Language Presentation

The Effect of Language on Perception of the World
To what extent does political correctness affect our perception and understanding of the world?
Works Cited
KIQ #1 (Anusha):
KIQ #2 (Katie):
KIQ #3 (Shadae):
-http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6XflI-OaALAC&oi=fnd&pg=PT6&dq=political+correctness+in +china&ots=uLelzfT3dE&sig=cMPRA8rGfBj5NF7cEDEBqHpWNys#v=onepage&q&f=false

To what extent does the language(s) you speak determine your thoughts?

Bias Towards a Particular Region or Country
Dicto Simpliciter
Question: Why do you think people submit to continuing to believe in stereotypes even when they know that they’re most likely false?
Cognitive Bias-“Pattern of deviation in judgment, where inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own ‘subjective social reality’ from their perception of the input.”
Influenced to Think a Certain Way
Question: There are about 7000 world languages that we know of today. Can the various languages people speak impact how that particular religion is interpreted?
Sapir Whorf Hypothesis
“Differences in the way languages encode cultural and cognitive categories affect the way people think, so that speakers of different languages will tend to think and behave differently depending on the language they use."
1. Language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories
2. Linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behavior
“Language shapes a man’s basic ideas” (Whorf)
How is Society Shaped by Language?
Limitation to Accessible Knowledge
(United States)
First Amendment to the Constitution: Freedom of Speech-"Concept of the inherent human right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment"
As of 2013, there are 2 million “internet/public opinion analysts” whose job is to search social media sites, chat rooms, and even text messages for opinions that disagree with the government
The Great Firewall (late 1990s)-limiting access or blocking pages to foreign websites
The Golden Shield (1998)- domestic surveillance
Question: Do you think humor and political satire is an effective method when educating the public about the government?
What is Political Correctness?

Political correctness (PC) is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups.

Real Life Situation
( 8:30 - 10:17)

Sense Perception
Political Correctness can increase difficulty in communication

influences the words used to communicate ideas
"Seeing race and seeming racist? Evaluating strategic colorblindness in social interaction", 2008
In Study 1, Whites proved adept at categorizing faces on the basis of race, but understated their ability to do so
In Study 2, Whites playing the Political Correctness Game--a matching task that requires describing other individuals--were less likely to use race as a descriptor when paired with a Black partner than when paired with a White partner,
Political correctness (PC) is a term used to
describe language, ideas, policies, or behaviour seen as seeking to minimize offense to
gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged

other identity groups

According to Pew research center the median annual personal earnings for Mexican Americans is $21,048.
The average American family makes around $50,000 a year.

Juan makes $32,000 a year.
For a mexican citizen, Juan makes a decent salary
For an American, Juan does not make enough money
Is there a point when being politically correct losses it’s original meaning and becomes pointless?
Does politically correctness in news and media compromise truth?

To what extent does language influence culture and diversity throughout the world?
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

-AKA the linguistic relativity principle
- Idea that differences languages affect cultural and cognitive categories (affect the way people think, and therefore how they behave and relate to others)

-Cultural differences are often seen in the words, colloquialisms, and expressions that are used in a language.
-Example: In Arabic are many words used simply for distinguishing between different types of camels, where in English these words do not exist.
-Example: The Saami people live in an arctic environment, and have a plethora of reindeer terminology. (Njirru means female reindeer that is unruly or difficult to control; 48 terms for antler formations)
Does language influence culture or does culture influence language?
-Often language creates identities for people groups. They identify with others that speak their own language. It links many ethnicities and backgrounds together.
-It gives people the ability to record history and to communicate culture in a way that people can develop customs, traditions, and cultural identities.
While language can often help people identify with others, how can it also be a barrier between people?
-There are estimated to be about 2,000 languages spoken in Africa today.

As someone learns a second language, do they also learn about another culture?
-Yes, learn certain aspects of culture with the language.
-Can become more open-minded to other cultures or backgrounds
-Opened up to possible communication and understanding with different people groups
There are still aspects of culture that cannot be taught by mere language alone. However, language does yield a greater opportunity and access to other cultures.
Emotion tied to language and culture
So... To what extent does language affect culture and diversity?
Does foreign language education give someone a more well-rounded perspective of culture and the world?
Is that view relevant in American culture?
Should a taking a foreign language be required for all American high school students as it is in some other parts of the world?
chair/ chairperson – chairman
sanitation engineer – bin man
American Indians/ red Indians – native Americans
postman/ mailman – mail carrier
mentally challenged/ learning difficulties – mentally disabled physically challenged – disabled/ handicapped
blind/ going blind – visually impaired
hearing impaired – deaf/ going deaf
seniors/ pensioners – old people
follically challenged/ comb free – bald/ balding
fireman – fire fighter
ugly – visually challenged
dead – living impaired
banned – blacklisted
innocent lie – white lie
short – vertically challenged
book challenged – uneducated
police officer – policeman
humankind – mankind
actress – actor
cabin crew/ flight attendant – air stewardess
housewife – homemaker
white – Caucasian
Christmas – festive season
happy holidays – Merry Xmas
camera operator – cameraman
gay – LGBT
Supporters of political correctness adopt nihilistic ideologies and force them onto the rest of society.
“It erases any distinction between truth and falsity and between quality and lack of quality in the classrooms. Postmodern professors have set out to undermine traditional study of literature and the humanities. They have reduced literary criticism to a silly obsession with political questions that don’t belong to literature. In many cases they have gotten their students to study cheap products of Marxist and feminist propaganda instead of masterpieces of world literature”
“In the name of “sensitivity” to others and under pain of being denounced as a sexist or racist, the postmodern radicals require everyone around them to adhere to their own codes of speech and behavior. Professors and students who remain outside the new movement have to walk on eggshells, ever reminding themselves to say “high school women” instead of “high school girls” or a hundred other political incorrect phrases. Already the zealots of political correctness have intimidated a handful of well-respected professors into dropping courses that touch on controversial topics. They have succeeded in imposing official speech codes on a large number of campuses. And the resulting atmosphere, the air of caution that many people in academic settings have adopted, the new habit of using one language in private and a different and euphemistic one in public”

people comply with political correctness because they fear punishment.
"Art critics need to speak up without political correctness"
Is it possible to distinguish between politically correct language used for progression and politically correct language used to undermine our freedom of speech?
Is there a point when being politically correct losses its original meaning and becomes pointless?
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