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Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Politics of Language-Personality and Expression



Language impacts just about everything our lives that range from our perspective on life all the way to how we react to new information. The book Symbol, Status and Personality by S.I. Hyakawan provides insight into the nature of language and how it influences our personality and our effectiveness in getting the things we want out of life. 

No one exists in isolation. We are cultural creatures that are part of a long line of ancestors, cultures, symbols, values, and people. In childhood we engrain people’s values and beliefs into our own. A few adults learn that these values and opinions are not always correct and can master them.  

Words also have emotions and images attached to them. In politics we use words to stir people to action on certain events. Creating the image, using certain types of words, and giving people an outlet for their concerns is a primary political activity. 

Within any conversation there are lots of needs, goals, objectives, and perceptions being shared.  Language is goal directed. It determines how we relate to others and create influence others. Politicians and entertainers have learned a higher skill of language used to gain influence and prestige.

As we develop as a person language becomes more subjective as our own grounded personality takes precedence. We are able to use that personality to step away from language and culture to see the similarities and differences between people’s communication patterns.  

It is important to understand that language is subjective and based upon the symbols a person uses and how they construct the view of their world. This view is deeply anchored to their early development as a person and is difficult to stand over and in judgement of one’s own language. As one masters this skill, they are better able of “controlling their tongue” and critically think about political rhetoric around them.  

Hayakawa, S.I. (1953). Symbol, Status and Personality. U.S: Wittenboar, Shultz Inc.,  

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