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.
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.
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.