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Youth Styles in Sweden: Representations and practices
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations (CEIFO).
University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2010 (English)In: Copenhagen studies in bilingualism, ISSN 0901-9731, Vol. 55, no 1, 10-51 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, the linguistic practices of many young people who are perceived as ‘non Swedish’ have lately become a Foucauldian conundrum: a problem to be scrutinized, a category to be defined, a disorder to be regulated. This general concern has materialized in a raft of public debates in which academics, cultural figures and a few members of the general public have engaged in a struggle for defining the name, meaning and value of these allegedly ‘new’ linguistic phenomena (Jonsson 2007, Milani, in press). That said, current research has shown that youth styles are not simply discursive constructs but constitute linguistic resources through which young people accomplish important identity work. Against this backdrop, this paper will take a multi-pronged approach which focuses on both the reality and representation of youth styles. For this purpose, we will investigate what a variety of

social actors say about these linguistic practices in a range of public domains (media texts, publicdebates, etc.); we will also explore how a group of adolescents uses different styles in their daily interactions in a school outside Stockholm. On the one hand, the focus on public discourse will allow us to tease out the broader indexical processes through which youth styles are becoming stereotypically associated to a particular group of people – ‘non Swedish young men’. On the other hand, classroom ethnography will enable us to show local examples of the ways in which adolescents use youth styles thereby reproducing, resisting or contesting dominant discourses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Köpenhamn: University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Humanities , 2010. Vol. 55, no 1, 10-51 p.
Keyword [en]
rinkebyswedish, youth style, enregisterment, language ideology
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41952OAI: diva2:343159
Available from: 2010-08-12 Created: 2010-08-12 Last updated: 2010-10-25Bibliographically approved

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