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Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs
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Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this ground-breaking new book on the Nortena and Surena (North/South) youth gang dynamic, cultural anthropologist and linguist Norma Mendoza-Denton looks at the daily lives of young Latinas and their innovative use of speech, bodily practices, and symbolic exchanges that signal their gang affiliations and ideologies. Her engrossing ethnographic and sociolinguistic study ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published January 3rd 2008 by Blackwell Publishers (first published January 9th 2007)
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Norma Mendoza-Denton’s Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs is a study in socio cultural linguistics. This ethnography details the workings of a subculture of Latina females who were involved in gang life in the mid-1990’s. Mendoza makes clear in her introduction that her book is an attempt to make this world accessible to a variety of readers, though the language of the book delves at times into the specialized fields of linguistics, anthropology, and criminology. ...more
Travis Hamilton
Wish there was less foul language. Enjoyed looking into the sociocultural aspects that were shared in the book. It was a bit heavy on the linguistic side of anthropology, which I am not very knowledgeable about, and so a lot of pages I had to 'trudge through'. A good read for an anthropologist, sociologist, academic... but do not think I can recommend to anyone else.
Sam Grace
Loved this book. It is a very accessible read, so you should certainly read it if you're interested in the subject matter, regardless of your training. There were a couple of things that made this a particularly wonderful book for me: 1) the way she includes herself in the narrative and 2) the normalization of her "subjects." These are not unrelated, obviously.

In "Beginning Fieldwork," the author tells about the girls she's working with dressing and making her up and then dropping into her home
Laura Farrell
Well done research. The ending, I think, is tedious if you are not a linguist. The writer displayed a great deal of empathy and understanding throughout the book. I learned a lot about how to conduct good ethnographic research.
So far, it's great. Ethnographies and language studies can be really dry unless they're deftly handled. This is engaging and very well written.
I would have enjoyed it a lot more had we not analyzed it for 3 weeks in class.
Brian Adams-THies
Great book and a definite inspiration for my own work!
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Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs (New Directions in Ethnography) Probabilistic Linguistics

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