The Effect of Social Class on the Linguistic Behavior of Saudi Female Employees at Al-Imam Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University
Keywords:Social Class, Language Behavior, Women, Identity, Speech, Occupation
This study aimed to investigate how the linguistic behaviors of Saudi female employees at Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University index their social class identity. The study used a holistic case with embedded units design. The researchers carried out interviews to collect the data. The interview questions were validated by eight EFL university professors. Besides, the discourse analysis was discussed based on the ethnography of communicative approach and the interactional sociolinguistics approach. The data analysis revealed that the linguistic behavior of the Saudi female employees yielded variant extents of indexation to their social class identity in terms of self-esteem, prestige, and power. The results proved that the linguistic behavior of the professors indexed their high-class identity in terms of their high level of self-esteem, high level of prestigious state, and high level of possessing power emotions. In addition, the linguistic behavior of the security employees indexed only two phases of their middle-class identity which were unsuccessful attempts to be prestigious speakers and their moderate sense of power. Finally, the indexation of the workers’ identity as low-class speakers was manifested in their linguistic behavior in terms of the low level of self-esteem and lack of power possession emotions.
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