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Language in Late Modernity
Interaction in an Urban School


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Part of Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521011976

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About the Authors
  • 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 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 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 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 debates in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and education.

    • Connects the study of everyday interaction with major current debates in society
    • Takes a truly interdisciplinary approach, showing how work in sociolinguistics is relevant to issues in cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and education
    • Contains numerous transcripts of real-life classroom interactions, along with three extended case studies
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    • Winner of the BAAL Book Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'It is difficult to do justice to this book in one review. It is complex, lucidly written … a major contribution to the field and deserves to be cited as a key text by researchers in cultural studies, sociology, linguistics and education for many years to come.' British Journal of Sociology of Education

    Review of the hardback: '…a beautifully realised work of mature scholarship and highly readable … One could hand the book to a student and say, without much exaggeration, 'Read this, and then follow up the sources, and you will be a fully formed sociolinguist' … It is a spectacular book.' The Journal of Sociolinguistics

    Review of the hardback: '… leads to extremely important insights into leaky boundaries between schools and the wider socio-cultural world, capable of challenging many established assumptions about language in education …' Language Learning Journal

    Review of the hardback: 'Rampton pays critical homage to both Dell Hymes and John Gumperz … Combining interactional analysis with capacious theoretical argument, Language in Late Modernity exemplifies the best of their tradition of ethnography sociolinguistics …' Journal of Anthropological Research

    Review of the hardback:'In light of the fact that Rampton is fully successful in maintaining this delicate balancing act between the Scylla of constructivism and the Charybdis of essentialism, this is a book that should be required reading for all sociolinguists of whatever ilk.' Belgian Journal of English Language and Literature

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521011976
    • length: 464 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 155 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Urban Classroom Discourse:
    2. Talk in class at Central High
    3. Popular culture in the classroom
    Part II. Performances of Deutsch:
    4. Deutsch in improvised performance
    5. Ritual in the instruction and inversion of German
    Part III. The Stylization of Social Class:
    6. Language and class I: theoretical orientations
    7. Language and class II: empirical preliminaries
    8. Schooling, class and stylization
    9. Classed subjectives in interaction
    Part IV. Methodological Reflections:
    10. Reflections on generalization, theory and knowledge construction.

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    Language in Late Modernity

    Ben Rampton

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  • Author

    Ben Rampton, King's College London
    Ben Rampton is Professor of Applied and Sociolinguistics at Kings College London.


    • Winner of the BAAL Book Prize

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