Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

Talking/Not Talking about Race: The Enregisterments of Culture in Higher Education Discourses

Authors

  • Bonnie Urciuoli

    Corresponding author
    1. HAMILTON COLLEGE
      Anthropology Department
      Hamilton College
      198 College Hill Road
      Clinton NY 13323
      burciuol@hamilton.edu
    Search for more papers by this author

Anthropology Department
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton NY 13323
burciuol@hamilton.edu

Abstract

In higher education “diversity” discourses, culture routinely stands in for race, but its use is unevenly enregistered. Examination of three web pages at one college shows contrasting entextualizations of culture: in promotional discourse, culture is loosely associated with diversity; in describing student organizations, culture is variously associated with race, ethnicity, nationality, language, and gender; for multicultural programs, culture is most tightly associated with racial markedness. Culture is most complexly enregistered in spoken discourse among students of color, indexing racial markedness experienced as subjectivity, family, class, and location. Framing all these usages is a neoliberalization of racial markedness, as in the idea of “educating the community.” [enregisterment, indexicality, higher education, culture, diversity]

Ancillary