Linguistic Variation as Social Practice: The Linguistic Construction of Identity in Belten High (Language in Society)

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9780631186045: Linguistic Variation as Social Practice: The Linguistic Construction of Identity in Belten High (Language in Society)

This volume provides an ethnographically rich account of sociolinguistic variation in an adolescent population.

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Linguistic Variation as Social Practice is a study of the speech of the adolescent population of a midwestern high school, relating individuals' subtle patterns of pronunciation and grammar to participation in the peer social order.

Based on two years of sociolinguistic and ethnographic fieldwork in one school, supplemented by shorter periods of fieldwork in three other schools, the study focuses on the polarized social categories, the "jocks" and the "burnouts," that dominate social organization in all of these schools. This book describes the social categories, networks, and practices that constitute the local adolescent social order, relates these to wider patterns in the urban-suburban area, and ultimately to wider societal patterns.

Linguistic Variation as Social Practice is an ideal text for advanced students of sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics.

About the Author:

Penelope Eckert is Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University and Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Research on Learning in Menlo Park, CA. She has also taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Jocks and Burnouts (1989), editor of New Ways of Analyzing Sound Change (1991), and co-editor of The Cornell Lectures: Women in the Linguistic Profession (1990).

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