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13 - Social Inequalities in Vocabulary and the Role of Reading

from Part Two - Continuity and Change

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 August 2022

James Law
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Sheena Reilly
Griffith University, Queensland
Cristina McKean
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
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Socio-economic differences in language have been noted as an important potential driver of ‘social reproduction’ – the transmission of socio-economic status from parents to children. Levels of language and vocabulary knowledge have also been implicated in wider social outcomes. This chapter provides a sociological perspective on language and vocabulary differences, and summarises some key empirical findings on a programme of work using UK birth cohort data. We address social inequalities in vocabulary, mechanisms of intergenerational transmission, and the role of reading for pleasure

Language Development
Individual Differences in a Social Context
, pp. 302 - 321
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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