Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Social structure and peer terminology in a black adolescent gang*

  • Teresa Labov (a1)
Abstract

Studies of the social organization of adolescent groups may not have always taken into account sufficiently the dual reality of the groups in which much of the youths' activities occur. Peer terminology is useful in locating and describing the associational patterns and activities of the youth, but only if the range of possible terms is considerably broadened. It was found in a study of a Harlem street gang that such language may appear ambiguous, but when studied systematically in the interaction between interviewer and members, the misunderstandings become transparent. Peer terminological practices can be used to provide further knowledge of the reality of the social organization of adolescent primary groups. (Peer terminology, primary groups, misunderstanding, interviewing, juvenile delinquency, urban black adolescent language; verbal tags.)

Copyright
References
Hide All
Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1967). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books.
Cooley, C. H. ([1909] 1962). Social organization. New York: Schocken Books.
Dines, E. R. (1980). Variation in discourse – “and stuff like that.” Language in Society 9:1332.
Folb, E. A. (1980). Runnin' down some lines: The language and culture of black teenagers. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Goffman, E. (1961). Encounters: Two studies in the sociology of interaction. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill.
Horowitz, R., & Schwartz, G. (1974). Honor, normative ambiguity, and gang violence. American Sociological Review 39: 238–51.
Klein, M. W. (1968). Impressions of juvenile gang members. Adolescence 3: 5377.
Labov, T. (1969). When is the Jets? Social ambiguity in peer terminology. Unpublished Master's Essay, Columbia University.
Labov, W. (1973). The linguistic consequences of being a lame. Language in Society 2: 81116.
Labov, W., Cohen, P., Robins, C., & Lewis, J. (1968). A study of the non -standard English of Negro and Puerto Rican speakers in New York City. USOE Final Report, Research Project No. 3288.
Lerman, P. (1967). Argot, symbolic deviance and subcultural delinquency. American Sociological Review 32: 209–24.
Merton, R. K. (1957). Social theory and social structure. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.
Moreno, J. L. (ed.) (1960). The sociometric reader. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.
Schutz, A. (1970). Concept and theory formation in the social sciences. In Emmet, D. & Macintyre, A. (eds.), Sociological theory and philosophical analysis. New York: Macmillan.
Schwartz, G., & Merten, D. (1967). The language of adolescence: An anthropological approach to the youth culture. American Journal of Sociology 72: 453–68.
Sherif, M., & Sherif, C. W. (1964). Reference groups: Explorations into conformity and deviation of adolescents. New York: Harper & Row.
Short, J. F. (1968). Comment on Lerman's “Gangs, networks and subcultural delinquency.” American Journal of Sociology 73: 513–15.
Tiwary, K. M. (1968). The echo-word construction in Bhojpuri. Anthropological Linguistics 10: 3238.
Willmott, P. (1966). Adolescent boys of East London. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
  • URL: /core/journals/language-in-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed