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“He’s got Jheri curls and Tims on”: Humour and indexicality as resources for authentication in young men’s talk about hair and fashion style

Pichler, Pia. 2019. “He’s got Jheri curls and Tims on”: Humour and indexicality as resources for authentication in young men’s talk about hair and fashion style. Journal of Pragmatics, 152, pp. 172-185. ISSN 0378-2166 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper examines humour and indexicality as resources for identity construction in a group of young South London men, with a particular focus on the ideological meanings which are ringfenced by the young men’s conversational humour about hair and fashion style. The young men’s self-recorded, playful talk includes instances of joking as well as of high risk teasing which, as the paper shows, in many ways conforms to rules of ritual insulting. The references to hair and fashion choices throughout the playful competition constitute indices of group membership at various levels, from hip hop culture to aspects of what Silverstein (2004) calls the ‘macrosociological order’, in particular with respect to race. The paper argues that by considering both the style and the substance of conversational humour, we gain a fuller picture of the range of indexical meanings which are invoked on micro and macro social-levels, and therefore of the multi-layered authenticating practices at the core of the young men’s identity construction.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.11.012

Keywords:

Humour, Identity, Authenticity, Indexicality, Hip hop, Race

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Dates:

DateEvent
14 November 2018Accepted
7 December 2018Published Online
October 2019Published

Item ID:

25076

Date Deposited:

21 Nov 2018 16:24

Last Modified:

24 Sep 2019 18:36

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/25076

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