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Working with insults: discourse and difference in an inner-city youth organization

Tannock, Stuart 1999. Working with insults: discourse and difference in an inner-city youth organization. Discourse & Society 10 (3) , pp. 317-350. 10.1177/0957926599010003003

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Over the last few decades in the US, a wide variety of community-based organizations (CBOs) has emerged in response to a sense of failure of mainstream institutions to work with a socially and linguistically diverse population. Discourse analysts have paid little attention to the discursive practices - which often bear little resemblance to conventional institutional discourse - found in CBOs. This article analyzes, as an example of the heterogeneous discourse of CBOs, an insulting routine between two teenagers - a white, upper middle-class female and a black, working-class male - working together in an inner-city youth theater group. The routine helped the teens accomplish some of the theater group's goals, but it also reinforced the gender inequality and signalled passive acceptance of the race prejudice the group was explicitly seeking to challenge. The contradictions within this routine are indicative of the challenges faced by CBOs attempting to embrace diversity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0957-9265
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:54

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