By Mary Bucholtz

In White childrens, Mary Bucholtz investigates how white young ones use language to demonstrate identities according to race and formative years tradition. targeting 3 early life types - preppies, hip hop fanatics, and nerds - Bucholtz indicates how white early life use a wealth of linguistic assets, from social labels to slang, from Valley lady speech to African American English, to place themselves within the school's racialized social order. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a multiracial city California highschool, the booklet additionally demonstrates how ecu American kids speak about race while discussing interracial friendship and distinction, narrating racialized worry and clash, and negotiating their very own ethnoracial type. the 1st e-book to exploit strategies of linguistic research to check the development of numerous white identities, it will likely be welcomed by means of researchers and scholars in linguistics, anthropology, ethnic reports and schooling.

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Extra resources for White Kids: Language, Race, and Styles of Youth Identity

Sample text

Students discovered the salience of race and ethnicity at the school the day they enrolled, when they and their parents completed forms reporting their ethnoracial category along with other demographic information. However, because students could select only one designation from a predetermined list, official categories did not necessarily reflect their own identities. This problem was particularly acute for the diverse groups that fell under the category Asian, for the many students of mixed race, and for teenagers of European descent with strongly held ethnic identities, especially Jewish students.

A related ideology holds that whiteness is cultural absence. According to this formulation, whiteness is not simply one ethnoracial designation among others but constitutes, by its very nature, a lack of ethnicity. The ideology that whiteness is devoid of culture can reinforce its unmarked status and hence its structural power, but on the other hand, the perception of whiteness as absence may leave European Americans who lack a strong ethnic identity with the sense of not “having a culture” (Frankenberg 1993; Perry 2001).

The school’s main student hangouts centered on the courtyard, which was surrounded by school buildings. African Americans generally congregated in the area called the Hill, near the principal’s office, while a large number of preppy European Americans sat on the steps of the arts building, facing the courtyard, an area often referred to simply as the Steps. Other groups were more dispersed: some Asian American students assembled at a low wall near the science building, called the Wall, and a few mostly low-status students sat on cement benches, called the Blocks, in the center of the courtyard.

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