e-book Identities in Context: Individuals and Discourse in Action

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Term Official english. Definition law that established english as the official language of the U. Reasons for it: increased level of immigration students not learning proper english in schools universal comprehension and equal opportunity for the children of immigrants. Term English Only. Definition the official english movement is an english-only movement in disguise certain places make it a requirement promotes discrimination towards non-english speakers lowers self-esteem and academic performance of non-english speakers. Definition pairs of acts usually found together to explain orderliness of conversation If an expected second pair is not forthcoming, communicators will give social meaning to its absence, one conversational practice to enact the identity is to refrain from doing a speech act where it would be expected insertion sequence- involve an inserted adjacency pair to determine if some condition applies that would make the conversationally preferred option possible.

Term Transition relevance places. Definition conversational places where speaker turns can occur grammar end of questions and statements intonation rising or falling nonverbals hand gestures coming to rest at the body silence.

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Term Ways of being direct. Term Way to form direct argument. Term language practices 3. Term Functions of narratives: persuasion argument-making. Definition Stories often leave a strong impression on listeners, their persuasive power is greater than other types of evidence. Term Functions of narratives: performing particular speech acts. Definition EX: the "cautionary tale" performs the speech act of warning indirect way of performing face-threatening acts. Definition Telling the story of an event in a way that highlights particular types of personal or master identities.

Definition telling stories to convey views that would cast doubt on the teller's morality or sanity. EX: expressing prejudice. Term Cultural variation. Definition members of different speech communities tell different stories about different things narration style varies. Term Stance.

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Definition communicated attitude towards person, topic, and situation. Term Stance indicators. Term Stance vs. Definition Stance- the view on a topic at the moment Style- usual way of speaking. Term Little stuff. Definition polite way to name something that is regarded as unimportant by another person little stuff helps us understand what went wrong in our interactions with others.

Term Institutional Identity. Definition We use available identities to 'be someone" to others so others can relate to us Ranges from groups, organizations and individuals all do it. Term Multiple goals. Definition we struggle when we have competing goals EX: parent a kid and love. Term Phronesis.

Definition Recognizing how situations and relationships may be thought about differently, and making the little stuff that achieves the big effects visible. Term Choral talk. Definition Segments where people murmur congratulations, say goodbye, or laugh at the same time Term Ethnography of communication. Definition conceptualizes communication as a continuous flow of information, rather than as a segmented exchange of messages. Term Intersectionality. NO YES. Identities in Context: Individuals and Discourse in Action.

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Identity politics

View on Wiley Online Library. This is a dummy description. Identities in Context is a comprehensive guide to contemporary discursive research on issues relating to identity across a variety of contexts. Provides a comprehensive guide to contemporary discursive research on identity. Introduces themes and concepts in a structured way that allows readers to easier assimilate the different aspects of discourse and identity. We could jump on them horses, saddle sometime, ride them sometime.

She said this with a sense of pride. His death was an important event in her life and she returned to it several times in her narrative. He was well, uh, when he got kill them white folks was just crazy about him.

Smith was murdered as a result of his political activities, particularly for rounding up voters during Reconstruction. Was it over politics? This is followed by a confused exchange between the two about who not the name, Walter Beyer, which is given early on in the interview sequence killed Mr. Faulk assumed the murderer must have been related to the Smiths. Smith clarified that he was a poor white man.

Observing the Human Use of Language Through Discourse Analysis

Because our boys was well learned Smith expressed trepidation of poor whites, this was frequent among written slave narratives that mention whites. Poor whites were hired by wealthy whites to enforce punishments, both as overseers and as patrollers. Patrollers would travel around and watch out for enslaved African Americans who were away from their owners without permission.

Smith may also have made a distinction between poor and rich whites to make her interviewer at ease during the interview and ensure that he realized she was not transferring negative associations to him. But when he found out that Beyer was white, he had to seek a new answer. However, her answer was still evasive, indicating the political climate of the time and the possible repercussions that her honest disclosure might bring to fruition.

Her answer is a partial truth. Through interaction with Faulk, Smith creates a fragmented identity for Beyer.


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The practice of black women nursing white children was common during slavery, and it continued after emancipation. Analysis of the written narratives reveals that race, ethnicity, and status are common themes in the written narratives, and their contextual creations, as well. The most salient aspects of identity found within the written narratives deal with constructs of race and status.

A number of the informants referred to the overseers as poor white trash. By doing this, the informants were leveling the status of the whites they discussed and creating a status hierarchy, which placed the status of these whites below their own. This highlights the fact that identity is a relationship; each variable of identity is defined in relation to something else. Class and status do not exist without these relationships.

Several informants made statements about skin color and its associations. McNair is defining her self-concept in relation to the other girl. This statement implies that racial status had to be learned.

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As in this case, this lesson was often taught through violence. Slaveholders reminded the enslaved of their racialized status in other ways as well. By reducing complex color differences into black and white, the hybridity and diversity of the reality of skin color was denied. This false dichotomy eased the reification and essentialization of race based on skin color. This color system was used to maintain racial inequality and racism long after the end of the institution of slavery itself. A number of these narratives include a physical description of the interviewee, written by the interviewer, which sometimes includes an essentialization of character as well.

Following are some examples:. William Edward Black. Ex-Slave, 91 years. Is considered crazy, but is shrewd enough to capitalize on his peculiarities Rawick, b, Matilda Clifton […]. Gabe Emmanuel is the Blackest, black Negro one ever could hope to see. He is a stopped, wabbly old man, 85 years old, weighing about pounds […].

He lives in the Negro quarters of Port Gibson, and has the courtesy and gentleness of all slavery Negroes ibid. Charles Bell […] at his present age of eighty-one, is hale and erect, in color medium brown as browns in this sense go set off by a growth of closely kinked benevolent-looking white wool covering his head, cheeks, chin and most of his neck.

He is five feet, six inches, tall and weighs one hundred sixty-five pounds. His upper teeth present a solid gold front which condition, be it noted, is less disfiguring to the negro face than to the white; in fact, the color scheme is rather good, which may account for the pride most negroes take in the possession of gold teeth.

Skin color is mentioned in all but one of these descriptions. Members of this socially constructed racial category were perceived to have shared behavioral traits as well as physical ones, as suggested by the descriptions of Mrs. Clifton and Mr. According to interviewers, Mrs. Though this information was not accessible to the informants at the time of the interviews, it provides insight into the perspective of the interviewer at the time that the interview took place.

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An advantage of the written narratives is their far greater quantity. Given this mass of data, one can ask more specific research questions. The question to be considered is how geographic context impacts slave narratives. Ideally, this question would be asked of the slave narrative collection as a whole. For the purposes of this essay, the question will be asked of specific regional data. Life experiences were variable during slavery, and the present regional approach is not meant to homogenize these experiences by region. Therefore patterns that appear within a region will be examined with the explicit acknowledgement that variability does exist.

A collection of the Mississippi slave narratives will be used to consider the question of the impact of geographic context. Paternalism and stereotypes abound. An interesting aspect of the Mississippi narratives is that many of those interviewed were still living in close proximity to the plantations where they had been enslaved. This created ties to the land and ties to the community—both black and white. Given this context, informants were less likely to feel free to disclose negative experiences, given that the descendants of their former masters lived nearby.

Further, the interviewers were from the same area. Therefore it was certainly plausible, from the perspective of the informant, that any information expressed by the informant might be conveyed to those descendants. Indeed some of the interviewers were descendants of the slaveholders who owned their interviewees Rawick, a, lxxxviii. It is timely that few narratives were compiled in publication prior to the s, by this time most of the former slaves had died and were not subject to retribution on the part of the descendants of slaveholders.

When asked how she located former slaves, she commented:. Well, I talked a lot about my project, and being a native, I knew everybody I knew about these people, these Negroes; one I knew personally She also established status. This was what was of interest to her about this particular narrative.

She recounted how she kept a copy of that interview and sent it around the country to family members from the North who delighted in reading it to dinner guests for entertainment. Clearly in this case the interviewer had an impact on the narratives that were created in the context of the interview. This influence mediated the interviews. Mark Twain related a lesson he learned from a sermon of a former slave:.

If he would prosper, he must train with the majority; in matters of large moment, like politics and religion, he must think and feel with the bulk of his neighbors, or suffer damage in his social standing and in his business prosperities. He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions—at least on the surface quoted in Rawick, a, lxxxviii. Several former slaves from this region reported that they were better off as slaves. This response was likely as much a consequence of the constraints placed on their ability or willingness to speak openly as the lack of qualitative change in their daily lives after emancipation.

For some, the challenges of daily life got worse after slavery, particularly during the Depression, when the interviews were elicited. Photographs that accompany some interviews reflect the destitution of a number of the interviewees. Typically an elderly African American is pictured on the porch or steps of a dilapidated wooden cabin wearing worn-out clothing that reflects limited economic means.

Regardless, many acknowledged the significant difference between slavery and freedom. Thus the interviewer becomes the narrator. This method assimilates the paternalism of slavery, the interviewer tells the story for the interviewee. Consequently, the interviewer appropriates the voice of the informant.

Following is an excerpt from such a narrative:. As the Johnson family grew, Matilda states that she was treated just as good as the children. The only difference being that she was black and they were white. She is a firm believer in the traditions of slavery [ She praises the slave days and likes to tell how good her Master and Mistress were to her Rawick, b, She was living alone and continued to work at this advanced age.

The problems that accompany the aging process probably influenced this, and other, narrative s. Looking back at the past entails a comparison with the present. The problems of the past may seem minimal in comparison. That Mrs. Clifton perceived that she had a much easier time when she was a slave may be independent of her slave status and may have more to do with her age, her health, and her social network during that timeframe in comparison to her present condition.

She lives with her only daughter in a comfortable cabin, which is unusually clean. These comments indicate that Cobb was still directly dependent on whites for her livelihood. I heard it said, dat some was De would holler and sing When de surrender come in May we just stayed the year out til Christmas. Then we moved into Lowndes County Old as I is, who is taking care of me? De good Lord! This indicates the circumscribed nature of her responses. Brevity is a strategy of self-protection.

First of all, she had an incentive. The interviewer gave her money, so she did not want to offend her. The statements she made about her experiences during slavery were innocuous. She used the distancing strategy of having heard about or seen, from a distance, negative things or events. She discussed emancipation as essentially a non-event. It eventually led to a move and a shift to share-cropping, but the event is not narrated in detail as it is in a number of slave narratives from other regions. Emancipation was a critical event, the end of a chapter, and Cobbs discussed it incidentally.

Silence is a key strategy. Geographic context plays a critical role.