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From the Kitchen to the ParlorLanguage and Becoming in African American Women's Hair Care$
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Lanita Jacobs-Huey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304169.001.0001

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Constructing and Contesting Knowledge in Women’s Cross-cultural Hair Testimonies

Constructing and Contesting Knowledge in Women’s Cross-cultural Hair Testimonies

Chapter:
(p.105) 6 Constructing and Contesting Knowledge in Women’s Cross-cultural Hair Testimonies
Source:
From the Kitchen to the Parlor
Author(s):

Lanita Jacobs-Huey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304169.003.06

This chapter explores conversations involving black and white women across multiple settings (for example, cosmetology schools, hair educational seminars, Internet discussions) that further elucidate what is at stake for African American women in discussions about hair. African American women's hair narratives and knowledge about hair were, in many ways, filtered through their experiences of marginalization as a collective of women whose ethnic features were long considered unattractive. Black women's ideas about hair are intricately connected to cultural identity, gendered experiences, and racial consciousness. In three separate hair discussions, white women unwittingly ran into trouble despite their attempts to align with black women. This chapter examines the nature of their linguistic missteps and black women's (mis)readings to illuminate what went wrong and what contributed to these women's conversational alignments and misalignments.

Keywords:   cosmetology schools, hair educational seminars, Internet discussions, African American women, cultural identity

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