Course content 2017
Language, Youth and Identity – explored through ethnographic methodologies
This course presents methods for collecting linguistic ethnographic data, with a specific focus on language, youth and identities in culturally and linguistically heterogeneous urban spaces. We engage in the practical issues of conducting ethnographic fieldwork; of planning and collecting data, of doing digital ethnography, and of turning data into ethnographic text.
Furthermore, the course introduces some key concepts from poststructuralist, discursive and sociolinguist approaches to analysing identities in linguistic ethnographic data. Through an investigation of political (in) correctness, and what Sarah Ahmed calls non-performatives, a discussion on what is not being said in talk is given attention. We analyse prohibited language, we look at how various social categories and identities are constructed, ascribed and resisted through language, and what happens when talk becomes a substitution for other social actions. Colour blind (anti) racism and race is taken as one example of this subject. The course combines lectures with literature-, and data seminars. Plenty of time is devoted for analysing data in hands-on seminars. All participants are requested to bring and present their own transcribed material from on-going research projects which will be jointly analysed in relation to the presented theoretical perspectives of the course. We welcome not only interactional data but also interview and computer mediated communication (CMC) data. The hands-on seminar offers an opportunity to both practice linguistic ethnographic analysis and to receive valuable readings of own data from other course participants. The overall aim of the course is thus to introduce linguistic ethnographic methods, and to provide theoretical perspectives and analytical tools through which to analyse identities in mundane talk.
All applicants are kindly asked to submit with their application either 1-4 A4 pages of transcribed data (along with a translation into English) or a 250-word description of the data that they would like to present for discussion during the course (NB the deadline for submission of the transcribed and translated data is January 2nd) . The data will be discussed and analysed in the afternoon sessions of the course. The students will be asked to give a short presentation introducing the data and setting it against the backdrop of their research projects.