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Description - Language as Cultural Practice by Sandra R. Schecter

This text offers an ethnographic account of language socialization practices within Mexican-background families residing in California and Texas. This account illustrates a variety of cases where language is used by speakers to choose between alternative self-definitions and where language interacts differentially with other defining categories, such as ethnicity, gender and class. It shows that language socialization - instantiated in language choices and patterns of use in sociocultural and sociohistorical contexts characterized by ambiguity and flux - is both a dynamic and a fluid process. The study emphasizes the links between familial patterns of language use and language socialization practices on the one hand, and children's development of bilingual and bi-literate identities on the other. Using a framework emerging from their selection of two geographically distinct localities with differing demographic features, Schecter and Bayley compare patterns of meaning suggested by the use of Spanish and English in speech and literacy activities, as well as by symbolic importance ascribed by families and societal institutions to the maintenance and use of the two languages.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780805835335
ISBN-10: 0805835334
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 248
Imprint: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Publish Date: 1-May-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Books By Sandra R. Schecter

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