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Language across Difference


  • 6 b/w illus. 7 tables
  • Page extent: 228 pages
  • Size: 216 x 140 mm
  • Weight: 0.27 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9781107613966)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$47.99 (C)

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.


"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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