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Beyond Yellow EnglishToward a Linguistic Anthropology of Asian Pacific America$
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Angela Reyes and Adrienne Lo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327359.001.0001

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Constructing Ethnic Identity through Discourse

Constructing Ethnic Identity through Discourse

Self‐Categorization among Korean American Camp Counselors

(p.131) 8 Constructing Ethnic Identity through Discourse
Beyond Yellow English

M. Agnes Kang

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates how Korean American camp counselors locally construct ethnic identity through the practice of self‐categorization in discourse. Self‐categorization, or the identification of oneself in terms of ethnic identity, serves to position counselors in terms of Korean ethnicity and to associate that identity with one's personal goals in participating in the Korean camp. Counselors discuss and debate whether the teaching of Korean heritage or the mentorship of the campers should be the primary objective of the camp. This opposition between ‘heritage’ and ‘mentorship’ is cast as a source of tensions that map onto ideologies of identity, whereby ‘Korean American’ identity acquires the local meaning of being linked to the importance of mentorship over Korean heritage.

Keywords:   ethnic identity, self‐categorization, Korean American, heritage, indexicality, stance

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