Linguistic Practice in Changing Conditions

Author: Ben Rampton

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Multilingual Matters
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210mm x 148mm

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This book demonstrates the power and distinctiveness of the contribution that sociolinguistics can make to our understanding of everyday communicative practice under changing social conditions. It builds on the approaches developed by Gumperz and Hymes in the 1970s and 80s, and it not only affirms their continuing relevance in analyses of the micropolitics of everyday talk in urban settings, but also argues for their value in emergent efforts to chart the heavily securitised environments now developing around us. Drawing on 10 years of collaborative work and ranging across disciplinary, interdisciplinary and applied perspectives, the book begins with guiding principles and methodology, shifts to empirically driven arguments in urban sociolinguistics, and concludes with studies of (in)securitised communication addressed to challenges ahead.

Theoretically sound and methodologically rigorous, this book offers vibrant ethnographic descriptions of how people respond to (and take issue with) the rapidly changing conditions of late capitalist societies in the linguistic minutiae of their daily lives. Covering a wide range of phenomena, Ben Rampton (and colleagues) reimagines the role of sociolinguistics today, demonstrating the field's vitality to understand the relationship between language and society in a vertiginous world.

Rodrigo Borba, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This book retools the apparatus of interactional sociolinguistics for the present age. Exploring a wealth of field sites and changing practices around social class, race, urban speech, and destabilised notions of citizenship, nativeness, security, and surveillance, Rampton's latest work is indispensable for the study of language and interaction in 21st century social life.

Devyani Sharma, Queen Mary University of London, UK

A compelling panoramic collection. The chapters offer lucid insight into how everyday language practice refracts shifting political and social ecologies. A vital contribution to understanding the vexing complexities and tensions of contemporary society, the volume is also an inspirational record of the emergence of a powerful school of engaged sociolinguists.

Christopher Stroud, University of the Western Cape, South Africa and Stockholm University, Sweden

Ben Rampton is Professor of Applied and Sociolinguistics at King's College London. Using linguistic ethnography and interactional sociolinguistics, his work covers urban multilingualism; youth, ethnicity and social class; conflict and (in)securitisation; and language education policy and practice. He is the founding editor of Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies.

Transcription Conventions

Chapter 1. Introduction: Linguistic Practice in Changing Conditions

Part 1: Sociolinguistic Frameworks Tuned to Social Change

Chapter 2. Interactional Sociolinguistics

Chapter 3. Linguistic Ethnography

Chapter 4. Sociolinguistic Citizenship

Part 2: Ethnicity, Race and Class in Micro-practices of Differentiation and Alignment

Chapter 5. Ethnicities without Guarantees

Chapter 6. Style Contrasts, Migration and Social Class

Chapter 7. From 'Youth Language' to Contemporary Urban Vernaculars

Chapter 8. Styling in a Language Learnt Later in Life

Part 3: Everyday (In)securitisation

Chapter 9. Sociolinguistics and Everyday (In)securitisation

Chapter 10. Crossing of a Different Kind

Chapter 11. Goffman and the Everyday Experience of Surveillance

Afterword: Jan Blommaert and the Uses of Sociolinguistics: Critical, Political, Personal


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