In White Kids, Mary Bucholtz investigates how white teenagers use language to display identities based on race and youth culture. Focusing on three youth styles - preppies, hip hop fans, and nerds - Bucholtz shows how white youth use a wealth of linguistic resources, from social labels to slang, from Valley Girl speech to African American English, to position themselves in the school's racialized social order. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a multiracial urban California high school, the book also demonstrates how European American teenagers talk about race when discussing interracial friendship and difference, narrating racialized fear and conflict, and negotiating their own ethnoracial classification. The first book to use techniques of linguistic analysis to examine the construction of diverse white identities, it will be welcomed by researchers and students in linguistics, anthropology, ethnic studies and education.
Mary Bucholtz is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
1. White styles: language, race, and youth identities; 2. Listening to whiteness: researching language and race in a California high school; 3. Cliques, crowds, and crews: social labels in racial space; 4. Say word?: Race and style in white teenage slang; 5. I'm like yeah but she's all no: innovative quotative markers and preppy whiteness; 6. Pretty fly for a white guy: European American hip hop fans and African American English; 7. We're through being cool: white nerds, superstandard English, and the rejection of trendiness; 8. 'Not that I'm racist': strategies of colorblindness in talk about race and friendship; 9. White on black: narratives of fear and resentment; 10. 'I guess I'm white': ethnoracial labels and the problem of whiteness; 11. Conclusion: audible whiteness.