The ten volumes of Handbook of Pragmatics Highlights focus on the most salient topics in the field of pragmatics, thus dividing its wide interdisciplinary spectrum in a transparent and manageable way. While the other volumes select specific philosophical, cognitive, grammatical, cultural, variational, interactional, or discursive angles, this seventh volume underlines the mutually constitutive relation between society and language use. It highlights a number of the most prominent approaches of this relation and it draws attention to a selected number of topics that the study of language in its social context has characteristically brought to bear. Despite their theoretical and methodological differences, each of the chapters in this book assumes that it is necessary to look at society and language use as interdependent phenomena, and that by attending to microscopic linguistic phenomena one is also keeping a finger on the pulse of broader, macroscopic social tendencies that at the same time facilitate and constrain language use. The introduction provides a sketch of the intellectual antecedents of the volume's two `mother disciplines', viz., linguistics and social theory before pointing at recent common ground in the rising attention for discourse and what has come to be called `late-modernity'.