ANTHRCUL 299 - Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
Section: 201 From Hip Hop to Bollywood: A Linguistic Anthropology of Teenager's Talk
Term: SU 2009
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

  • How do teenagers use clothing, hairstyles, and language to assert who they are?
  • What is the role of these styles in the formation of social groups?
  • How do teenagers, through their talk, act to question race, ethnicity, and social class?
  • How do teenagers talk differently inside and outside of schools?

This course considers how adolescents use language as a form of social action. It has long been assumed that language is a self-contained system, largely cut-off from the social world of its speakers. Drawing upon the field of linguistic anthropology, we explore the way that language is actually deeply embedded in social, cultural, and political life. This course highlights the role of language in examining how adolescents navigate their social worlds, both in school and out of school (homes and neighborhoods). Rather than assuming that adolescents are in the process of assuming ready-made adult roles, we look at how adolescents act to reconfigure and challenge social inequalities in larger society.

This course draws upon the fields of linguistic anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and education. During the first three weeks of class, students will be introduced to the key theoretical frameworks in the class: language socialization, speech communities (and beyond), and "style". In the next three weeks, we will look at studies of adolescents’ language according to three themes: social inequality, mass-media, and bilingualism and multilingualism. In the final week, we will closely examine two influential ethnographies of education, which make connections between students’ practices at home and in school.

All of the theoretical concepts introduced in this course will be contextualized in case studies. In addition to the weekly readings, I will enhance our discussions with examples from popular media (such as TV shows, movies, and magazine articles), as well as my own ethnographic data. All classes will have a lecture and a discussion component. Students are expected to attend class regularly and actively contribute to class discussion.

ANTHRCUL 299 - Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
Schedule Listing
201 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ANTHRCUL 299 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)