In this course, we will learn basic concepts that are important in understanding and analyzing language in social and cultural context. Language can be approached as an autonomous system that functions through internal rules such those governing grammar and pronunciation. However, in anthropology and sociology, it has been shown that language, culture, and society are inseparable from each other. They interact in complex and interesting ways, and it is our task as researchers to find out how we can analyze and articulate such interactions in politics, religion, literature, and media. This course aims to teach how to listen to language or read a text and relate it to the larger contexts in which it is embedded. We will read ethnographies from the Middle East, and those of indigenous native Americans to see the different ways in which the nexus of language, history, religion and culture can help us make better sense of communities around the world.