The study of teenagers in the classroom, and how they interact with one
another and their teachers, can tell us a great deal about late-modern
(contemporary) society. In this revealing account, Ben Rampton presents the
extensive sociolinguistic research he carried out in an inner-city high
school. Through his vivid analysis of classroom talk, he offers answers to
some important contemporary questions: does social class still count for
young people, or is it in demise? Are traditional authority relationships
in schools being undermined? How is this affected by popular media culture?
His study, which provides numerous transcripts and three extensive case
studies, introduces a new way of perceiving established ideas in
sociolinguistics, such as identity, insecurity, the orderliness of
classroom talk, and the experience of learning at school. In doing so,
Rampton shows how work in sociolinguistics can contribute to some major
current debates in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and education.