Professor Jan Blommaert
It has been the ambition of sociolinguists, ever since the inception of the discipline, to make fundamental statements on the nature and structure of society grounded in empirical insights into social patterns of language usage. Yet, very few have effectively attempted this form of theory building. Based on a project called “Durkheim and the Internet”, I will provide a survey in this lecture of such fundamental social-theoretical insights gained from sociolinguistic research into contemporary online and offline interaction modes and patterns. I shall focus in particular on how such insights offer a different take on the old sociological (and political) problem of social integration.