Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs / Edition 1

Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs / Edition 1

by Norma Mendoza-Denton
ISBN-10:
063123490X
ISBN-13:
9780631234906
Pub. Date:
01/28/2008
Publisher:
Wiley

Paperback

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Overview

Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs / Edition 1

In this ground-breaking new book on the Norteña andSureña (North/South) youth gang dynamic, culturalanthropologist and linguist Norma Mendoza-Denton looks at the dailylives of young Latinas and their innovative use of speech, bodilypractices, and symbolic exchanges that signal their gangaffiliations and ideologies. Her engrossing ethnographic andsociolinguistic study reveals the connection of language behaviorand other symbolic practices among Latina gang girls in California,and their connections to larger social processes of nationalism,racial/ethnic consciousness, and gender identity.


  • An engrossing account of the Norte and Sur girl gangs - thelargest Latino gangs in California
  • Traces how elements of speech, bodily practices, and symbolicexchanges are used to signal social affiliation and come togetherto form youth gang styles
  • Explores the relationship between language and the body: one ofthe most striking aspects of the tattoos, make-up, and clothing ofthe gang members
  • Unlike other studies – which focus on violence, fightingand drugs – Mendoza-Denton delves into thecommonly-overlooked cultural and linguistic aspects of youthgangs

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780631234906
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/28/2008
Series: New Directions in Ethnography Series
Pages: 354
Sales rank: 156,733
Product dimensions: 6.05(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

Norma Mendoza-Denton is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, and the founder and director of the Linguistic Anthropology Research and Teaching Laboratory.

Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

List of Tables x

Acknowledgments xi

Acknowledgment of Sources xiv

Introduction 1

1 La Migra 10

2 Beginning Fieldwork 42

3 Norte and Sur: Government, School, and Research Perspectives 76

4 Hemispheric Localism: Language, Racialized Nationalism, and the Politicization of Youth 101

5 "Muy Macha": Gendered Performances and the Avoidance of Social Injury 148

6 Smile Now Cry Later: Memorializing Practices Linking Language, Materiality, and Embodiment 176

7 Icons and Exemplars: Ethnographic Approaches in Variationist Sociolinguistics 207

8 Variation in a Community of Practice 230

9 "That's the Whole Thing [tin]!": Discourse Markers and Teenage Speech 265

10 Conclusion 292

References 297

Appendix 324

Index 328

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“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

"Homegirls 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


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