Linguistic Anthropology looks at how speaking, singing, reading, joking, texting, arguing and so on, makes us who we are. We look at how interactions create social relationships, political inequalities, cultural forms, and historical change. We attend to face-to-face events but also to the ways words and gestures from elsewhere (including the media) are woven into them. Close attention to such details illuminates how big-picture conditions come about--for instance, how labor hierarchies or diplomatic conflicts work-- and how we might change them.
Linguistic Anthropologists study how languages influence social life, document languages, and study language structure and use.