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Subject: Communication and Journalism

No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media

Luiz Valério P. Trindade, University of Southampton, UK

July 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-796-3
Availability: In stock
230pp. ¦ $59 £44 €50

‘No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media’ examines the social phenomenon of construction and dissemination of colonial-like racist discourses fostered against upwardly-mobile black women through disparagement humour on social media platforms, adopting a fresh and innovative perspective. In this book, Luiz Valério P. Trindade explores the idea that disparagement humour might not be as exempt of social impact as the jokers might believe, and that, in fact, this kind of humour reveals the hidden facet of deep-seated colonial ideologies still present in Brazilian society despite being hailed as a unique model of a post-racial society. The author argues that these ideologies establish and naturalise superior social positions and symbolic privileges to whites while undermining and delegitimising black women’s upward social mobility. Social media platforms enable the proponents of these beliefs not only to engage in the practice of online hate speech but also to attract a considerable number of like-minded people, creating a long-lasting echo chamber effect in the cyberspace. This way, they manage to amplify the reach and reverberation of their racist discourses in the online environment in ways not commonly seen in Brazilian offline social contexts. This monograph is of great interest and relevance to students, scholars, and researchers across a variety of disciplines, most notably Critical Race Studies, Media Communication Studies and Critical Humour Studies, and also academics in other areas such as Critical Discourse Analysis, Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies and Latin American Studies.

Hero and Hero-Worship: Fandom in Modern India

Edited by Rahul Chaturvedi, Banaras Hindu University, India et al.

August 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-859-5
Availability: In stock
194pp. ¦ $51 £38 €43

In the aftermath of liberalization of Indian economy in 1991, the study of star-fan studies has experienced exponential expansion. Hero and Hero-Worship: Fandom in Modern India explores the areas of political, religious, film and cricket star fandoms; analyzing the rise of star formations and their consequent fandoms, star-fan bonds, as well as the physical and virtual space that both stars and fans inhabit. As perhaps one of the first book-length studies on Indian fandom, this volume not only draws on the works of Jenkins and other fandom scholars, but also explores the economic and cultural specificities of Indian fandom. This book will be of particular interest to scholars working in the field, as well as general readers interested in understanding star-fan interactions and intersections.

Watching in Tongues: Multilingualism on American Television in the 21st Century

James G. Mitchell, Salve Regina University, USA

April 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-609-6
Availability: In stock
250pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

This book explores ideas and issues related to second language (L2) speakers and L2 use as portrayed on American television. It examines many examples of television depictions of L2 speakers and L2 use collected in the first decades of the 21st century. The book is divided into four three-chapter sections. “Humor and Homicide” looks at two aspects of the inclusion of L2 speakers and L2 use on television: L2 use or speakers depicted to create humor in various ways, especially through miscommunication or misunderstanding, and L2 knowledge used to solve crimes in the detective/police procedural genre. The section describes the reasons behind these phenomena, how they work, and the messages they convey to viewers. “Language Learning” explores how both adult and child language acquisition is represented and misrepresented on American television, with analysis of realistic vs. non-realistic depictions. “Subtitles and Stereotypes” explores the ways in which L2 speakers are often negatively depicted on television, their portrayal based on stereotypes. This work specifically investigates the role that subtitles play in leading viewers to such conclusions, employing the idea of language subordination, a process that devalues non-standard language while validating the norms and beliefs of the dominant group. Also considered are ways in which stereotypes are sometimes used to undermine negative perspectives on L2 speakers. “Language Attitudes and Mediation” evaluates depictions of second languages used as tools of mediation in both historical and satirical terms as well as the feelings these portrayals engender in viewers. In short, this work asks questions that have not previously been posed about L2 use on television, and it provides answers that not only shed light on issues of the representation of language learning and language use, but also constitute a lens through which American society as a whole might be understood.

The African Mother Tongue and Mathematical Ideas

A Diopian Pluridisciplinary Approach

Abdul Karim Bangura, American University Center for Global Peace

February 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-818-2
Availability: In stock
402pp. ¦ $57 £43 €49

This book by renowned scholar Dr Abdul Karim Bangura combines linguistics and mathematics to show how and why African-centred mathematical ideas can be a driving force in Africa’s development efforts. Bangura explores the concept that Africa has been the centre of the History of Mathematics for thousands of years, as the civilizations that emerged across the continent developed contributions which would enrich both ancient and modern understanding of nature through mathematics. However, scholars and other professionals working in the field of mathematics education in Africa have identified a plethora of issues in carrying out their tasks. This is highlighted by one of the most compelling arguments in the book, which is that a major reason for these problems is the fact that the African mother tongues has been greatly neglected in the teaching of mathematics in the continent. Bangura asserts that a change has to be made in order for Africa to benefit from the exceptional opportunities mathematics offer, showing that, even if there is a great body of work connecting linguistics and mathematics, few analyses have been performed on the link between African languages and mathematics—and the ones that have been made are not theoretically-grounded on linguistics. Thus, the book begins by identifying the objects of study of linguistics and mathematics, and delineates which ones they have in common. Next, since the object of study of linguistics is language, the nine design features of language are employed to examine each of the objects as it pertains to African languages. After that, mathematical ideas of sustainability and those of tipping points are suggested as means to help Africa’s development efforts.

Understanding Political Persuasion: Linguistic and Rhetorical Analysis

Douglas Mark Ponton, University of Catania, Italy

October 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-856-4
Availability: In stock
241pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

This book builds on the consolidated research field of Political Discourse Analysis and attempts to provide an introduction suitable for adoption amongst a readership wishing to understand some of the principles underlying such research, and above all to appreciate how the tools of discourse analysis might be applied to actual texts. It summarises some of the work that has been done in this field by authorities such as Halliday, Fairclough, Wodak, Chilton, Van Dijk, Martin, Van Leeuwen and others to provide the would-be analyst with practical ideas for their own research. Naturally, this would not be the first time that such a handbook or introductory reference book has been proposed. Fairclough himself recently produced one; however, his work, simply entitled Political Discourse Analysis, inevitably includes theoretical insights from his own research. The beginning analyst can, at times, experience a sense of bewilderment at the mass of theoretical writing in linguistics, in the search for some practical, usable tools. I explain a variety of such tools, demonstrating their usefulness in application to the analysis of a number of political speeches, from different historical periods and diverse social contexts. The author’s hope is that would-be students of political rhetoric, of whatever level and from a variety of research areas, will be able to pick up this book and find tools and techniques that will assist them in actual work on texts. Naturally, it is also hoped that they will be inspired to follow up the suggestions for further reading which they will find in the bibliography.

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