By Sari Pietikäinen, Alexandra Jaffe, Helen Kelly-Holmes, Nik Coupland
Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users"
Language across Difference
Ethnicity, Communication, and Youth Identities in Changing Urban Schools
Once a predominantly African-American city, South Vista opened the twenty-first century with a large Latino/a majority and a significant population of Pacific Islanders. Using an innovative blend of critical ethnography and social language methodologies, Paris offers the voices and experiences of South Vista youth as a window into how today's young people challenge and reinforce ethnic and linguistic difference in demographically changing urban schools and communities. The ways African-American language, Spanish and Samoan are used within and across ethnicity in social and academic interactions, text messages and youth authored rap lyrics show urban young people enacting both new and old visions of pluralist cultural spaces. Paris illustrates how understanding youth communication, ethnicity and identities in changing urban landscapes like South Vista offers crucial avenues for researchers and educators to push for more equitable schools and a more equitable society.
1. Beginnings: shouts of affirmation from 'our culture'; 2. 'Spanish is becoming famous': youth perspectives on Spanish in a changing youth community; 3. 'True Samoan': ethnic solidarity and linguistic reality; 4. 'They're in my culture, they speak the same way': sharing African American language at South Vista; 5. 'You rep what you're from': texting identities in multiethnic youth space; 6. Making school go: revisioning school for pluralism.