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May I Quote You on That?

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A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

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Academic Paper

Title: Corporations are people: Emblematic scales of brand personification among Asian American youth
Author: Angela Reyes
Institution: Hunter College
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article examines the use of corporate names as personal nicknames for Asian American youth. The analysis traces the meanings of these nicknaming practices through the concepts of (how figures of personhood are recruited as embodiments of corporate brands) and (how signs of personhood emerge across trajectories of use and scales of time). Within the crossracial institutional structure of an Asian American supplementary school, these nicknaming practices not only formulate speech, participants, relationships, and settings as informal, but also infuse the nicknamed with brand qualities linked to race, nation, class, and status. These practices also generate fleeting and stable frameworks of group distinction and adequation that operate simultaneously or cyclically and that maintain or transgress classroom roles and racial boundaries. This article demonstrates how an attention to temporal dimensions enables researchers to explore the ways in which small-scale activities accumulate across events and assemble into wider scale structural change. (Nickname, brand, emblem, timescale, trajectory, Asian American youth, race, classroom discourse)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 42, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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