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Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

How does African American Vernacular (AAVE) effect AAVE speakers at the University?

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Title: How does African American Vernacular (AAVE) effect AAVE speakers at the University?
Author(s): Taylor, Jessica
Subject(s): African American Language Identity Dialect AAVE
Abstract: This project seeks to understand how African American Vernacular English (AAVE) effects the experiences of African American students who identify as AAVE speakers at the University. What are the opinions of African Americans who do not identify as AAVE speakers on AAVE and those who speak it? How is AAVE defined? Based on nine interviews and participant observation, this study reveals how AAVE speakers feel the need to code switch to Standard American English in certain settings to avoid being perceived as dumb or ignorant. Code switching happens quite automatically. Many participants in this study did not have a clear understanding of AAVE and conceptualized it as ghetto slang rather than as a distinct dialect.
Issue Date: 2006-12-15
Genre: Essay
Type: Text
Publication Status: unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-08-22

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  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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