Crossing : Language and Ethnicity among Adolescents book cover
3rd Edition

Language and Ethnicity among Adolescents

ISBN 9781138636583
Published October 4, 2017 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

Focusing on urban youth culture and language crossing, this foundational volume by Ben Rampton has played a pivotal role in the shaping of language and ethnic identity as a domain of study. It focuses on language crossing - the use of Panjabi by adolescents of African-Caribbean and Anglo descent, the use of Creole by adolescents with Panjabi and Anglo backgrounds, and the use of stylized Indian English. Crossing’s central question is: how far and in what ways do these intricate processes of language sharing and exchange help to overcome race stratification and contribute to a new sense of mixed youth, class and neighbourhood community?

Ben Rampton produces detailed ethnographic and interactional analyses of spontaneous speech data, and integrates the discussion of particular incidents with theories of discourse, code-switching, social movements, resistance and ritual drawn from sociolinguistics, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.

Now a Routledge Linguistics Classic with a new preface which sets the work in its current context, this book remains key reading for all those working in the areas of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.

Table of Contents

Transcription Symbols and Conventions
Preface to the Routledge Linguistics Classics Edition

Part I: Introductory
Local Reports of Language Crossing

Part II: Interaction with Adults: Contesting Stratification
Stylised Asian English (i)
Panjabi (i)
Creole (i)

Part III: Interaction with Peers: Negotiating Solidarity
Stylised Asian English (ii)
Panjabi (ii)
Creole (ii)

Part IV: Crossing and Performance Art
Creole and SAE (iii)
Panjabi (iii)

Part V: Conclusions
Crossing and the Sociolinguistics of Language Contact
Crossing, Discourse and Ideology
Educational Discourses on Language

Appendix I
Appendix II
Numbered extracts, settings and main participants

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Ben Rampton is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Sociolinguistics at King’s College London. He is author of Language and Late Modernity: Interaction in an Urban School (2006), co-author of Researching Language: Issues of Power and Method (Routledge, 1992), and co-editor of The Language, Ethnicity and Race Reader (Routledge, 2003) and Language and Superdiversity (Routledge, 2016).


"The importance of this book for sociolinguistics cannot be overestimated."

C. Kramsch, 1998, Review, Language and Education 

"Rampton’s book Crossing put the sociolinguistic study of style, and of interethnic styling in particular, on a new footing. […] The distinctiveness of Rampton’s work lies in its ethnographic depth, theoretical openness and empirical specificity."

N. Coupland, 2007, Review, Style 

"Ben Rampton has produced a very important study, not only on language and ethnicity among adolescents… but on a range of sociolinguistic topics."

J. Blommaert, 1998, Review, Journal of Sociolinguistics 

"A research monograph which manages to be empirically thorough, methodologically rigorous, and of practical and theoretical interest."

M. Heller, 1997, Review, International Journal of Bilingualism