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Morality at the MarginsYouth, Language, and Islam in Coastal Kenya$
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Sarah Hillewaert

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286515

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286515.001.0001

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Reframing Morality through Youthful Voices

Reframing Morality through Youthful Voices

(p.153) Chapter 4 Reframing Morality through Youthful Voices
Morality at the Margins

Sarah Hillewaert

Fordham University Press

Chapter Four analyzes the interactional practices of young Lamu residents in a variety of contexts. Particularly, it looks at how young people are able to differently present themselves by drawing upon a broad linguistic repertoire and upon their awareness of the evaluation of different language varieties. For example, a young Swahili woman, in an attempt to speak with authority, shifts between English-infused Standard Swahili and local Swahili dialects when addressing her peers or elders respectively. The chapter thus shows how young people use linguistic tactics to negotiate new social positions, but also how a moral narrative of modernity can be linked to or mediated within linguistic practices. The analysis simultaneously raises the question of reception and whether young people’s strategic self-positionings are always successful.

Keywords:   interaction, language ideologies, linguistic practices, self-presentation, tactics

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