Language, Race and Ethnicity (Prospective Syllabus)
What is race? What is ethnicity? How is racial identity assigned, assumed, constructed and performed? How does race explicitly as well as implicitly order social life? How does racism manifest itself in our discourse—not just overtly but covertly? What is a “color blind” society? What is a “post-racial” society? A focus on language is central to answering these and many related questions. In this course, we will explore the work done by sociocultural linguists within the American context on the way language intersects with issues pertaining to race and ethnicity. Primary emphasis will be placed on the way ethnoracial identities are constructed through language use and the way racial and racist ideologies manifest themselves in discourse. The course will be divided into three parts. We will begin by defining “race” and “ethnicity,” and examining theoretical ideas from the sociology of race. Next, we will examine the linguistic construction of ethnoracial identities—grounding our exploration in an extended ethnographic case study of language practices. Finally, we will investigate the way we talk about race and racism in an attempt to better understand the (re)production of racialized and racist discourses. The goals of the course are (1) to explore theoretical concepts related to race and ethnicity through a consideration of ideas from social theory, (2) to interrogate the socio-historically contingent nature of ethnoracial identities and the linguistic practices used to construct those identities, (3) to consider the ways gender, class and relations of power intersect with racial and ethnic categories, and (4) to bring students to a critical awareness of the way racism operates through discourse.
Adam Hodges. "Language, Race and Ethnicity (Prospective Syllabus)" 2012
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/adamhodges/42