Article published in:Youth language at the intersection: From migration to globalization
Edited by Mary Bucholtz and Elena Skapoulli
[Pragmatics 19:1] 2009
► pp. 39–63
“She’s hungarious so she’s Mexican but she’s most likely Indian”
Negotiating ethnic labels in a California junior high school
Schools in California have become increasingly diverse and the demographic composition of school populations has become heterogeneous in the language, nationality, and ethnicity of students. Using ethnographic and interactional analysis, the present article examines how California youth employ a variety of concepts associated with ethnicity to classify themselves and others. For youth who have peers from multiple national, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds, the criteria of citizenship, national origin, language, and phenotype are negotiated interactionally for ethnic labeling. The article further suggests that ethnicity is not a simple category, but rather a concept that youth in a multiethnic context actively construct and co-construct with the help of associated notions. Finally, it is demonstrated that ethnic labeling in interviews may be a dispreferred practice for some interviewees due to its potential connection with racism and discrimination.
Keywords: Ethnic labeling, Citizenship, California, National origin, Ethnicity, Youth
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 license.
Published online: 01 March 2009
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Cited by other publications
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van de Weerd, Pomme
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 29 september 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.