Synthesis Paper #2: Connecting course ideas to observations of language and race. (You may also incorporate attention to class and gender.) 30 points
Find an article, video, or social media post that addresses race or racism in the US, Black Lives Matter protests, White Supremacist activities, police actions, policies towards undocumented workers, non-white populations in the U.S., etc. Using this source for your analysis analyze the role of language in constructing possible meanings indexed in the article, video or media post. Make specific observations about how language is being used. Don’t hesitate to take a deep dive into one utterance and really try to explore the possible meanings and connotations of the utterance. Think about what specific language may be indexing (pointing to) either directly or indirectly.
For inspiration, watch the following two videos: “What is Code Switching?” and “The Language of Racism.” The first discusses the codes people use to communicate with others. We all code switch, from the language we speak at home and at work or school. For people whose language differs more significantly from a standard American English dialect, this can be even more striking. Choice of code can thus signal messages about audience and meaning.
“The Language of Racism” is addressing how our language is full of skeletons of a more explicitly racist past and gets us to think about how specific expressions may reinforce racist ideas. Thinking more about people’s word choice, in particular, is one way to analyze utterances.
Material to help you with this paper:
Video: What is Code Switching?Links to an external site.
Podcast: “The Language of Racism: Why It’s Time to Get Rid of Master Bedroom, Cake Walk, Grandfather Clause” (Links to an external site.) (Transcript Download Transcript)
Article related to above podcast: Everyday Words and Phrases that Have Racist Connotations (Links to an external site.)
Article: Analyzing the Underlying Meanings of “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter (Links to an external site.)”
Video on Indexicality by Jan BlommaertLinks to an external site. is a Belgian sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist: Indexicality
Suggestions for possible texts you could analyze instead of finding your own text to analyze. These two articles (Van Over and McIntosh) come out of a recent volume entitled Language in the Trump Era, and they deal a bit more directly with the concept of power, but they also show how power is expressed directly through language. How might this understanding of the construction of power through language be useful for understanding how race, which is a power construct (see Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist) is also constructed through language?
Van Over, Brion. 2020. “Evaluator in Chief.” In Language is the Era of Trump, edited by Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton, 191-202. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Download Van Over, Brion. 2020. “Evaluator in Chief.” In Language is the Era of Trump, edited by Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton, 191-202. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
A related article by Janet Holmes (which I discussed in the Week 7 lecture and also posted in the Week 7 Module), would also be interesting as a supplement to the Van Over article, or as a stand-alone discussion as she explores how compliments can expressed gender hierarchies.
Janet Holmes. 1998. “Complimenting: A Positive Politeness Strategy.” In Language and Gender: A Reader, edited by Jennifer Coates, 100-120. Oxford: Blackwell. Download Janet Holmes. 1998. “Complimenting: A Positive Politeness Strategy.” In Language and Gender: A Reader, edited by Jennifer Coates, 100-120. Oxford: Blackwell.
Janet McIntosh. 2020. “Crybabies and Snowflakes.” In Language is the Era of Trump, edited by Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton, 74-87. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Download Janet McIntosh. 2020. “Crybabies and Snowflakes.” In Language is the Era of Trump, edited by Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton, 74-87. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Your analysis: Read carefully through the written text you have identified and listen to or watch any associated audio or video texts. Then think through how various course concepts might help you analyze the text/video you are focusing on. What language-related ideas or concepts might you use to discuss shed light on ideas being constructed or indexed through language.
Here are some suggestions for a possible relevant idea/concept:
The concept of language ideology
Direct and indirect indexicality
Mock Spanish (Jane Hill)
The development of academic literacy (e.g. James Paul Gee)
Heath’s discussion of the Roadville vs. Trackton approaches to language development and literacy
Grammatical patterns/rules in AAE (African American English); the rule-governed nature of AAVE, e.g. invariant or habitual “be,” double negatives
The Ebonics controversy
Language vs. dialect
Describe the article/text/video you are analyzing. Make careful description of specific language and action you are reading/hearing/witnessing (through transcription and description of other relevant details). Try to discern the meanings behind the language forms, both verbal and non-verbal, that are being used. What aspect of the linguistic expression are important for understanding its meaning? Focus on language/expression that you find most interesting. Drawing on one course concept, analyze the language being used. What is this language indexing? What are the implications of the language/words being used? Try to go deep in your discussion rather than just scratching the surface. See, for example, how understanding the term “Black Lives Matter” from the article, “Analyzing the Underlying Meanings of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘All Lives Matter’.”
Due: Saturday of Week 8 @ 11:59 PM
Length: The paper must be a minimum of TWO (2) 1.5 or double-spaced pages. Try not to exceed four pages.
Title: Give your paper a catchy title.
Citation: Please include in your references page a citation for the text you are analyzing and any other sources you cite. If you would like to use anthropological citation consult the AAA Style Guide (Links to an external site.). Otherwise, just be consistent in your citation.
20 points: Paper goes beyond expectations to exhibit a clear, original and innovative synthesis, bringing in discussion of relevant terms and theories to the analyze of the given text. All required components are present, including citation of sources.
18-19 points: Paper does a solid job in presenting a clear and innovative synthesis, focusing on a clear concept that is used and explicated to analyze the given text. Includes citation of sources.
16-17 points: Paper has identified a text for analysis and engaged in synthesis of ideas. Some elements of the paper are less developed, such as identification of a clear concept or the analysis of the text.
15 points and below: Paper exhibits synthesis that is less clear and developed, bringing a less-developed discussion of terms and theories to the analyze of the given text. Required components may be missing, including citation of sources.
Why Work with Us
Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers
We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.
Professional and Experienced Academic Writers
We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.
Free Unlimited Revisions
If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.
Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee
All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.
Original & Confidential
We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.
24/7 Customer Support
Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.
Try it now!
How it works?
Follow these simple steps to get your paper done
Place your order
Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.
Proceed with the payment
Choose the payment system that suits you most.
Receive the final file
Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.
No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.
No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.
Admission Essays & Business Writing Help
An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.
Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.
If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.