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Title:Language, race and space: What it means to be a speaker of African American English in higher education spaces
Author(s):Clayton, Dominique M.
Director of Research:Dixson, Adrienne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dixson, Adrienne
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Dyson, Anne; Barnett, Bernice; Prendergast, Catherine
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):African American English
Black Students
Composition Studies
Abstract:The purpose of this study is to understand how African American English-speaking students understand their language and writing practices and experiences with language in PWI spaces while also applying a framework, racial communicative competence. Racial communicative competence allows for the exploration of the complexity of Black language practices. Using ethnographic methods, I show how the participants of this study experience and understand the dialect of AAE. An essential part of this study is to develop an understanding of the participants’ knowledge about their language repertoires and how these repertoires in turn are perceived in various spaces. Additionally, this work looks at the role that writing classes play in erasing the linguistic and cultural practices of AAE speakers. I argue that when the students understand how they are perceived racially, rhetorically and linguistically in these spaces they then construct and implement strategies that resist the mainstream narratives about language and writing, narratives that often exclude them. Students’ relationships to AAE are complex due to the institutional racism that institutions reinforce and ultimately use as a method of gatekeeping.
Issue Date:2018-04-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Dominique Clayton
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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