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Identity Creation and Power Acquisition Through Language use in Preadolescent and Adolescent Girls
AdvisorFerguson, Jenanne K.
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This research provides several insights into how preadolescent and adolescent girls use language to shape their identities and position themselves in stances of social power within their given communities of practice (Bucholtz, 1999). Specifically, it examines how female children participating in 4-H club activities are using language to build individual and group identities; how individual and group identity creation and recreation is managed through language use; how stances of power and hierarchies are created and managed through language use; how directives and indirectness are used to create and maintain social power; and how female children are modeling and employing language tactics based on knowledge acquired from adult displays of language use and exchange. The insights gained here are important because they inform us about how young girls in extracurricular situations are using language to build their identities and position themselves socially.