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The Acquisition of Heritage Languages

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Academic Paper


Title: Blacks and Bubbas: Stereotypes, ideology, and categorization processes in restaurant servers' discourse
Paper URL: http://das.sagepub.com/content/16/6/787.short
Author: Christine Mallinson
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://christinemallinson.com
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Author: Zachary W. Brewster
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Individuals employ general, cognitively grounded categorization processes to form expectations for interactions with members of other social groups. Such categorizations sometimes surface in the form of racial, ethnic, or other stereotypes. But although much literature describes and/or tests the cognitive nature of stereotyping and categorization, less investigates how stereotypes and categories are formed in casual interaction, through casual discourse. This article analyzes data from 15 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with restaurant servers to investigate how they categorize customers by drawing on racial stereotypes and stereotypes related to class and/or cultural capital to produce two types of discriminatory discourse: 'racetalk' and what we term 'regiontalk'. Our analyses suggest potential differences in the servers' processes of categorization according to patron type, which we interpret with regard to the larger context of racism and classism in contemporary U.S. society.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Discourse & Society 16 (6): 787-807
URL: http://das.sagepub.com/content/16/6/787.short


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