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Language across Difference
Ethnicity, Communication, and Youth Identities in Changing Urban Schools

$113.00 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521193375

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Illuminates how youth challenge and reinforce notions of ethnic and linguistic difference through examples of oral and written language use
    • Applies findings about language, ethnicity and identity in multiethnic and multilingual contexts to educational practice
    • Foregrounds the voices and experiences of African-American, Latino/a and Pacific Islander youth in an engaging, non-technical narrative
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Paris's book is an accessible and engaging read that contributes important and needed insights about language and identity practices among youth of color in changing urban schools. His book is unique in its examination of linguistic plurality among youth of color in the sense that the author does not analyze students' language use in relation to some standardized form of English."
    Denise Ives, Anthropology and Education Quarterly

    "Paris is transparent about the ways that he is culturally similar and dissimilar to the various students that he is learning with. His courageousness through ethnography and reflection brings a level of authenticity to his research that further privileges the voices of the students and the communities that he seeks to better understand."
    Anne Harper Charity Dudley, Teachers College Record

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521193375
    • length: 228 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Author

    Django Paris, University of Washington
    Dr Django Paris is Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy in the College of Education at Michigan State University. His research focuses on youth language and literacy in changing multiethnic and multilingual schools and communities. He is particularly interested in understanding how pluralism works in multiethnic youth communities and in how we can re-vision language and literacy learning to foster understanding within and across difference. His teaching focuses on youth language and literacy practices, the training of teachers to work in multiethnic and multilingual high schools, and qualitative and social language research methods. Dr Paris' research appears in several journals and book chapters, including the Harvard Educational Review and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Language across Difference is his first book and explores the ways youth of color challenge and reinforce ethnic and linguistic difference in demographically changing urban schools. His research has been supported by the Spencer, Ford, and the NCTE Research Foundations. He serves on journal editorial boards and is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Standing Committee on Research and the American Educational Research Association Social Justice Action Committee. He is also Associate Director of the Bread Loaf School of English, a summer graduate program of Middlebury College.

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