Vox California

Vox California is a biennial spring conference hosted at UCSB. It provides a forum for faculty and students to present cutting-edge research on the linguistic and cultural diversity of California. Members of the press and the public are welcome to attend as well; admission is free. For more information, see the Vox California website:



Bucholtz, Mary (2011). “ ‘It’s Different for Guys’: Gendered Narratives of Racial Conflict among White California Youth. Discourse Studies.

"> Abstract: As race talk has gained attention throughout the social sciences, sociocultural linguistics has become increasingly important in revealing how racial ideologies and identities are discursively produced. This article examines how race talk among white youth reproduces racial binaries while simultaneously perpetuating gender ideologies. Drawing on European American teenagers’ narratives of conflict at an ethnoracially diverse and divided California high school, the analysis examines three discursive practices of racial reversal whereby white youth portray themselves as disadvantaged vis-à-vis their black peers: (1) claims of “reverse discrimination,” (2) narratives of racialized fear, and (3) fight stories. Whereas white girls’ narratives of discrimination and fear relied on racial vagueness, white boys’ narratives of physical conflict highlighted racial difference. These contrastive strategies indicate the different racial stakes for white girls versus white boys at the school. The article demonstrates the necessity of examining race talk not only for its content but also for its discursive structure, social and interactional context, and ideological effects.