Introduction youth language at the intersection: From migration to globalization

Mary Bucholtz and Elena Skapoulli


This special issue examines the linguistic production of youth identities under conditions of cultural mobility. Building on theories of migration, transnationalism, and globalization that have emerged in anthropology, cultural studies, and other fields, the contributions to the special issue investigate not simply the large-scale cultural and political processes that shape the lives of youth but equally how youth identities emerge through the fine-grained details of interactional work and local linguistic practice. The introduction lays out the major themes that run through the special issue: the importance of scholarly attentiveness to the diversity of youth identities; the recognition of youth as social agents moving across national boundaries both physically and symbolically; the role of local ethnographic practice in investigations of global and transnational phenomena and especially the centrality of interaction as the primary site of social life; and the significance of language as a key resource for the articulation and negotiation of social identities, relations, and processes.

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