Race, speech, identification, and ideology
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RACE, SPEECH, IDENTIFICATION, AND IDEOLOGY: METHODOLGICAL INNOVATION AND INQUIRY Sociolinguistic studies of race and perceptions of speech are productive avenues of research with implications across academic disciplines and public life. However, sociolinguistic considerations of the social processes linking evaluations of speech style and race, particularly in light of the reflexive role of discourse, remain understudied. Such disregard may relate, in part, to implicit and under examined epistemological assumptions among factions subsumed under ÒsociolinguisticÓ research and, by extension, the methodological implications related to these assumptions. With these attendant tensions in mind, this dissertation employs an alternative, sociocultural theoretical framework to consider the limitations and possibilities for expanding the scope and applicability of sociolinguistic studies on racial evaluations of speech. Through methodological discussion and empirical data, it employs different epistemological assumptions and complementary methods through distinct methodological approaches to analyze linguistic data on racial speech perception. Three articles examine (1) the nature of linguistic study on racial perceptions of speech, including ways that listeners discursively construct race as a relevant topic in discussing perception in interviews, (2) epistemological and methodological practices and the prospects of their application to linguistic studies, and (3) examination of discourse as an ideological, reflexive resource linking speech style and racial construction. Findings across these studies advance theories of language and race, modes of linguistic research, evaluation of speech, and the ideologies that shape each. I suggest that approaching the status, origins, and relevance of speech styles widely associated with race through a sociocultural lens opens up new avenues for sociolinguistic investigation of linguistic profiling based on race.