The work of the linguist Charles A. Ferguson spans more than three decades, and is remarkable for having been consistently at the forefront of scholarship on the relationship between language and society. This volume collects his most influential and seminal papers, each having expanded the parameters of sociolinguistics and the sociology of language. Taken together, they cover a wide range of topics and issues, and, more importantly, reflect the intellectual progress of a founder of the sociolinguistic field. The volume is divided thematically into four sections, and an introduction by Thom Huebner outlines the evolution of Ferguson's ideas and the impact they have had on other scholars. This book is essential reading for everyone interested in the field of sociolinguistics.