This is a new and enlarged edition of Ben Rampton’s ground-breaking study of sociolinguistic processes in urban youth culture. 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. Its 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. Vivid descriptions of adolescent life in youth clubs and school playgrounds provide an important insight into the ways in which young people manage to ‘live with difference’, and full consideration is given to crossing’s critical implications for education policy.