From the Kitchen to the Parlor
This book provides an ethnographic and multi-sited account of how African American women use language to negotiate the significance of hair in their everyday lives. From the perspective of linguistic anthropology, the book examines how African American women use both hair itself and language about hair as cultural resources to shape the way they see themselves and are seen by others. By exploring how women make sense of hair in the everyday and across the many places where the subject of hair is routinely taken up (for example, beauty salons, hair educational seminars, stylists' Bible study meetings, hair fashion shows, comedy clubs, Internet discussions, and cosmetology schools), the book presents situated and lived accounts of the role of hair and language in the formation of a black woman's identity. The book looks at hair care, how it takes on situated social meanings among black women, and how language both mediates and produces these social meanings.
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