Norma Mendoza-Denton’s Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice among. Latina Youth Gangs is the first major ethnographic work on the Norteña/Sureña. Norma Mendoza-Denton, Homegirls: Language and cultural practice among. Latina youth gangs. Maiden, MA: Blackwell, Pp. vii, Pb $ In this ground-breaking new book on the Nortena and Surena (North/South) youth gang dynamic, cultural anthropologist and linguist Norma Mendoza- Denton.

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It’s sure to become a classic. It is, it seems to me, one of the most important goals of anthropology, and it requires acknowledging the position of the audience.

That she respects the participants in her ethnography is clear from the note she writes directly to them in her introduction, in which she praises them for the lives they have made for themselves in the ten years since the ethnography was first written. Julie Johnson rated it really liked it Dec 30, Aug 17, Norma rated it really liked it Shelves: The normalization of her subjects fenton equally exciting.

Nov 08, Ellen rated it really liked it Shelves: Veriene Melo rated it really dennton it Mar 04, The first is an evocatively narrated, reflexive, and critical ethnography of the everyday cultural practices and discourse of the homegirls. In any case, this is a book about much more than language—or perhaps it reveals language to be much more than we think—and it is well worth picking up for an enlightening glimpse of a population that has been ascribed infamy without being known much at all.

This is engaging and very well written. Wish there was less foul language. Indeed, as the book progresses, Mendoza-Denton will make use of not only speech, but many complex symbolic signals and exchanges that connect her participants to the larger cultural practices of binary identities, gender, and national relationships.


Thus we as an audience must understand that language becomes an intricate system of signs that can include make-up, music, hairstyles, consumer items, and a host of other symbols that homegkrls up the cultural and personal identity of a person. To ask other readers questions about Homegirlsplease sign up.

Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs by Norma Mendoza-Denton

It is certain to become a classic in the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. Sep 25, Travis Hamilton rated it liked it.

In lieu of an abstract, ddnton is a brief excerpt of the content: Elsewhere, she describes how members use the identity markers of language to navigate “Norte” and “Sur” north and south gang networks, displaying or concealing various fluencies for specific rhetorical purposes. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

The ending, I think, is tedious if you are not a linguist.

Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs

This emerges in the early, more interpretive chapters, which will be of wide, general interest for the urgent relevance of the cultural critique they present. You homegurls currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. Homegkrls to Read Currently Reading Read. I would have enjoyed it a lot more had we not analyzed it for 3 weeks in class. It is evident from the introduction that Homegirls is an extraordinary book.

Already at this point in the book, Ddenton was fascinated to learn that language can constitute such a broad area.


The writer displayed a great deal of empathy and understanding throughout the book. Aug 25, Sam Grace rated it it was amazing Shelves: If scientific rigor increases the book’s impact, no one should begrudge Mendoza-Denton the specialization of the latter chapters.

In asserting the argument, Mendoza-Denton has almost written two books. Diana Gonzalez Rodriguez rated it liked it Sep 23, The breadth and depth are spectacular and the humanistic presentation makes the description captivatingly accessible to both a professional and a public audience.

I know of no better demonstration of how linguistic and cultural variables are entwined in social interaction. If scientific rigor increases the book’s impact, no one should begrudge Mendoza-Denton the specialization of the latter chapters. Thus humanist readers may begin to lose interest just as the linguists sigh “Finally! Katie rated it liked it Apr 05, Series New Directions in Ethnography.

Emily rated it liked it Jun 24, Enjoyed looking into the sociocultural aspects that were shared in the book. There’s a lot more to talk about, but maybe you can write it here when you’ve read it!

When I write, this is what I want to do. Ethnographies and language studies can be really dry unless they’re deftly handled. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Ashley rated it really liked it Apr 19,

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