Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs
January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
* An engrossing account of the Norte and Sur girl gangs - the largest Latino gangs in California
* Traces how elements of speech, bodily practices, and symbolic exchanges are used to signal social affiliation and come together to form youth gang styles
* Explores the relationship between language and the body: one of the most striking aspects of the tattoos, make-up, and clothing of the gang members
* Unlike other studies - which focus on violence, fighting and drugs - Mendoza-Denton delves into the commonly-overlooked cultural and linguistic aspects of youth gangs
List of Tables.
Acknowledgment of Sources.
1. La Migra.
2. Beginning Fieldwork.
3. Norte and Sur: Government, School, and Research Perspectives.
4. Hemispheric Localism: Language, Racialized Nationalism, and the Politicization of Youth.
5. 'Muy Macha': Gendered Performances and the Avoidance of Social Injury.
6. Smile Now Cry Later: Memorializing Practices Linking Language, Materiality, And Embodiment.
7. Icons and Exemplars: Ethnographic Approaches in Variationist Sociolinguistics.
8. Variation in a Community of Practice.
9. 'That's the whole thing [t5iN]!': Discourse Markers and Teenage Speech.
- An engrossing account of the Norte and Sur girl gangs - the largest Latino gangs in California
- Traces how elements of speech, bodily practices, and symbolic exchanges are used to signal social affiliation and come together to form youth gang styles
- Explores the relationship between language and the body: one of the most striking aspects of the tattoos, make-up, and clothing of the gang members
- Unlike other studies – which focus on violence, fighting and drugs – Mendoza-Denton delves into the commonly-overlooked cultural and linguistic aspects of youth gangs
"Homegirls, an experimental sociolinguistic ethnography of subaltern others, spans a decade of research by a woman who is keen to examine her position as an outsider/insider in the research process and the identity formation of her participants: female gang members.” (American Journal of Sociology, September 2009)
“Part reflexive narrative, part engaging ethnography, part fine-grained sociolinguistic study, and part riveting disquisition on the politics of eyeliner, this delightful book twinkles with wit and blazes with empathy and intelligence.”
Don Kulick, New York University
“Wonderfully written and as riveting as a novel, Homegirls provides a unique window on the linguistic and ethnographic patterns – and their interrelationship – of Northern California Mexican-American high school students who are members of girl gangs. It's sure to become a classic.”
Deborah Tannen, Georgetown University
“Mendoza-Denton provides an extraordinary fusion of ethnographic insight and sociolinguistic analysis. I know of no better demonstration of how linguistic and cultural variables are entwined in social interaction.”
William Labov, University of Pennsylvania
"A landmark work in sociocultural linguistics! The breadth and depth are spectacular and the humanistic presentation makes the description captivatingly accessible to both a professional and a public audience."
Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University provides a stunning and innovative linguistic, anthro-political ethnography of how gang-affiliated Latina girls talk, dress, and interact. It is certain to become a classic in the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.”
Marjorie Goodwin, University of California, Los Angeles