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Blog Entry on readings about Metapragmatics and Reflexivity

Warning compañerxs, you will find multiple orthographic errors and all kids of incoherencias!

“People differ in their normative sense of what should carry where” (Blommaert and Rampton, 2011)

In this week’s readings set up under the topics of Metapragmatics and Reflexivity, a great amount of concepts discussed this semester come out again. Enregisterment, authenticity, normativity, stylization, online and offline communication, superdiversity, crossing, etc. Perhaps one concept that was not considered as a keyword in these articles is race. In Smokoski’s thesis, the author problematizes the concept of race  and places it in the core of the analysis. Parenthesis, ¡Qué ganas de leer a Arthur Spears! Raza, race, racism, hate crimes everywhere. Let us keep in mind the current event, well, current? This has been around for a long time…

Now, retaking the readings, in Reflexivity in Facebook interaction–Enregisterment across written and spoken language practices, Stæhr draws on the concepts of normativity and enregisterment and looks at how these processes take place in online Facebook, and offline interactions among a group of young kids in the Danish society. He underlines the importance of understanding how the “rules” to communicate are changing. According Stæhr, “Facebook interactions are an indispensable contribution to our knowledge of how different forms of language convey social meaning”  (34). Within this frame, the author considers stylizations and reflexivity are central to understand the relation to social media and the construction of identities. Another interesting notion presented in the context of these group of kids is the notion of crossing, and this makes me wonder several things: Who, how, and why are some allowed to “cross the social boundaries? Who validates their transgressions of social and group limits? Who decides that a linguistic repertoire can be appropriate by one or another? What is the “limit” of the linguistics rights? How comments serve to perpetuate racial stereotypes?

But let’s continue. From this article I highlight the call to research how is language use in both contexts portrait and used? Is it part of a continuum? Why are we so obsessed with compartmentalize everything? Perhaps the registers, styles and functions to convey meaning in every group are not that different and are part of a continuum that we insist in keeping separate for research purposes, I guess?

Perhaps this has nothing to do with the interests of the journal where the articles are published, perhaps this is a topic that does not concern to this group of researches but yet again, one of the things that I believe this article misses its the problematization of the concept of race, the scant reference to migration and inequality.

Ok, I totally forgot that this blog has to be 500 words and I still have a lot to say! Let’s summarize… Now, in Kytölä, S., & Westinen, E. article, “I be da reel gansta”—A Finnish footballer’s Twitter writing and metapragmatic evaluations of authenticity, the authors discuss how the notion of authenticity is constructed and negotiated and normatively regulated in those two digital platforms. The English language use by a soccer player is associated to the hip hop and soccer culture having as backdrop the concepts of mobility and globalization. I found interesting the use of the words polylingual, centers, and polycentricity in the construction of identities, of  (dis)placed, (in)mobile humans beigns…

Ahora, ‘keepin’ it real’ in Voicing the other: Mock AAVE on social media, Smokoski brings a very interesting research about AVVE. She argues that, “examining outgroup AAVE use reveals which features of the variety have become iconic of it in the minds of White, European American speakers of ‘standard’ or mainstream American English, and cataloguing the topics it is used to discuss reveals its intertextual meaning: an image of a stereotypical AAVE speaker (9). I found particularly fascinating the way that she connects Hill’s studies on mock Spanish to her research and how she places the concept of race throughout her work.

I would like to end this messy, long blog entry with a quote taken from Smokoski’s thesis. This darker times called us compañerxs, there’s so much work to do, let’s don’t forget what is outside academia

“Instead of studying how African Caribbeans, Asians and Anglos use language, either together or on their own, we need to look at the role that language plays when humans interact together in situations where (a) discourses of race and ethnicity have currency (impacting on the distribution of material and symbolic resources, circulating in local, national and global networks), where (b) they’re potentially relevant to the participants (classifying and rating them differently), where (c) the participants may want or happen to activate these associations, but where (d) they might also have other things on their minds, or have come to an understanding that neutralizes the personal impact that these discourses can have (Rampton, 3).

This darker times called us compañerxs, there’s so much work to do, let’s don’t forget what is outside academia

Oh! And here is one of the videos mentioned in Smokoski’s work, just in case you are curious, “All Black Everything” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71McnVwWPwU

Also, I found this this week as I was reading the articles and I thought it could be interesting for someone. This is a whole new thing to me and I think it’s fascinating and worth to take a look even just out of curiosity https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/noisey-blackpool-the-controversial-rise-of-blackpool-grime/58060771227b7c35598b0d56?ref=noisey

References

Kytölä, S., & Westinen, E. (2015). “I be da reel gansta”—A Finnish footballer’s Twitter writing and metapragmatic evaluations of authenticity. Discourse, Context & Media, 8, 6–19.

Smokoski, H. L. (2016). Voicing the other: Mock AAVE on social media. Unpublished master’s thesis. CUNY Graduate Center, New York.

Stæhr, A. (2015). Reflexivity in Facebook interaction–Enregisterment across written and spoken language practices. Discourse, Context & Media, 8, 30–45.