In Unsettling race and language: Toward a raciolinguistic perspective Johathan Rosa and Nelson Flores details the topic of language and race. The main arguments the author makes are how and why language and race are related throughout history and now using a raciolinguistic perspective. A brief description of the ethnographic examples used to support this argument is shown within the five sections of the article in which discuss the five elements of a raciolinguistic perspective.
The first section of the article called “Historical and Contemporary Co-naturalization of race and language as Part of the Colonial Formation of Modernity” discussed two elements of modern European colonial formation which are race and language being linked to certain racial groups. Europeans believe colanism was justified because they believed non- Europeans were inferior to them. European colonizers believed indegeous people lacked knowledge and weren’t human because of the way they spoke. As a outcome of Spanish and US colonialism both Latin American and the US were stereotyped. Latin America was seen as brown and spanish-speaking and the US was seen as white and English-speaking.
The second section of the article called “Perceptions of Racial and Linguistic Difference” discussed Inoue’s work on how perceptions of language are related to social categories that produce ideas of linguistic signs. This part of the article suggests that certain languages are associated with certain races. This section shows examples of racism towards African Americans and Latinos. The third section of the article called “Regimentations of Racial and Linguistic Categories” discussed how schools use linguistic screener to put language into particular racial groups. The fourth section of the article called “Racial and Linguistic Intersections and Assemblages” discussed how race and language can be put into the social construct of gender. The fifth section of the article called “The Contestation of Racial and Linguistic Power Formations” discussed how language forms political and economic orders of global capitalism.
The evidence is presented in a way that makes it clear on how it is intended to support the author’s argument because each section has a title that represents the way in which it supports the evidence. It adequately does so by discussing the historical colonial America and the modern school system. The author’s argument helps us understand that language works by connecting it to race. The author might be making this argument because they want to bring attention to their main topic. Something in the argument that is surprising or that contradicts something traditionally thought about language is its connection to gender. This article relates to an article called “Nah, We Straight’: Black Language and America’s First Black President.” by Alim, H. Samy, & Smitherman, Geneva because in this article African Americans connect Barack Obama language to his race by saying he ‘sounds black’.
Alim, H. Samy, & Smitherman, Geneva (2012). “‘Nah, We Straight’: Black Language and America’s First Black President.” In Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S. 1-30. New York: Oxford University
Press.Rosa, Jonathan, and Nelson Flores. 2017. “Unsettling Race and Language: Toward a Raciolinguistic Perspective.” Language in Society 46 (5): 621–47.