1932

Abstract

From the “verbal deprivation” and “restricted codes” of the 1960s to contemporary “language gap” discourses, deficit models of children's language have been posited to explain social ills ranging from school failure to intergenerational poverty. However, researchers from a range of disciplines have problematized such models on the basis of the power of language to reflect, articulate, produce, and reproduce structural inequality. This review considers how the discursive construction of language, poverty, and child development contributes to deficit-based research agendas and the resulting interventions aimed at remediating language use in homes and schools. We suggest that an anthropolitical language socialization approach deconstructs ideologies of linguistic (in)competence and more accurately traces how children across cultures and social contexts develop communicative resources, cultural knowledge, and social practices in the face of political and economic adversity; it also helps articulate alternative ways of respecting and building on difference.

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2019-10-21
2024-04-16
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