Linguistic Analysis of The Movie Clueless

Analysis of a film or TV show, focusing on issues of language and identity, to be presented in class and written up in 5 pages. Your essay should have a unifying thesis about ethnicity, identity, inter-group relations, transitions, or some combination of these elements, and you should support this thesis in part with analysis of language. Here are some questions you might consider as you work on your analysis:

    • How does your selected work use language to represent an ethnic, immigrant, or other social group or the relations between groups?
    • How do the characters change over the course of the film? Do they change their sense of self? Do they progress from one class/group/society into another?
    • How are the characters depicted as belonging to two or more groups? Do they experience a sense of double consciousness? Do they feel as if they are stuck in a borderlands?
    • How does the film portray conflict between groups or generations? As part of your analysis, please discuss at least two of the following sociolinguistic phenomena as they are portrayed in your selected work:
    • Inter-speaker variation: Sociolinguistic variation among characters according to socio-economic class, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, generation from immigration, etc.
    • Intra-speaker variation: Individual style shifting or code switching (according to situation, audience, or topic) used to negotiate identities
    • Metalinguistic conversation: Conversation about language that represents (possibly conflicting) language ideologies and/or language discrimination Please include some linguistic analysis: when discussing inter-speaker and intra-speaker variation, please give examples of distinctive features, offering quotes as evidence where appropriate.

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