Language Variation as Social Practice: The Linguistic Construction of Identity in Belten High
April 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
List of Tables.
Introduction: Variation and Agency.
Interpreting the Meaning of Variation.
The Social Order of Belten High.
Sociolinguistic Research in the School.
The Vocalic Variables.
Outline of Variation in Belten High.
We Are What We Do.
Friendships, Networks, and Communities of Practice.
Style, Social Meaning, and Sound Change.
* Shows how local processes coincide with the global patterning of variation with class, gender and age.
* Uncovers the nature of social meaning and the dynamics of influence in variation.
"Penelope Eckert's work provides a fine ethnographic account of
the social organization and social practices of a varied set of
Detroit adolescents. At the same time, she builds in a much-needed
critique of current sociolinguistic work on the relationship
between language variation and social constructs such as class and
gender. The work as a whole is an excellent and readable synthesis,
representing the current state of the art in sociolinguistics."
Lesley Milroy, University of Michigan
"Nobody combines the insights of ethnographic study and
variation analysis more creatively than Eckert. She invariably
connects systematic language variation with the complexities of
social practice in a way that challenges our reified
interpretations of sociolinguistic behavior." Walt Wolfram,
North Carolina State University
"Eckert has provided us with an array of priceless information on the local social matrix in which change takes place. If we are not ready to answer every question that might be posed about linguistic change, the first step is to master the rich store of information and insight that she has given us, and to plan our future research with this in mind." Language in Society