School of Humanities and Sciences
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Albert Ray Lang Professor, Emerita
BioThe goal of my research is to understand the social meaning of linguistic variation. In order to do this, I pursue my sociolinguistic work in the context of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, focusing on the relation between variation, linguistic style, social identity and social practice.
Gender has been the big misunderstood in studies of sociolinguistic variation - in spite of the fact that some of the most exciting intellectual developments over the past decades have been in theories of gender and sexuality ... so I have been spending a good deal of time working on language and gender as well.
Since adolescents and preadolescents are the movers and shakers in linguistic change, I concentrate on this age group, and much of my research takes place in schools. The institutional research site has made me think a good deal about learning and education, but particularly about the construction of adolescence in American society.