An Argument Against Code Switching

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The novel, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, intrigues the reader by something called “code switching”, which most readers may not notice; this is important because it shows the roots of the characters in the book and how they contribute to code switching. Code switching is “the use of more than one language or language variety concurrently in conversation”, according to the article, “Nah, We Straight”: An Argument Against Code Switching, by Vershawn Ashanti Young. Although many people contribute to code switching, it is mostly identified with race, which is what Thomas’s book portrays a focus on. This novel suggests that to be a black adolescent in 21st-century America you must change how you present yourself to fit in, which includes the…show more content…
This is often related to the stereotypes that are correlated with code-switching. After reading THUG and Youngs article against code-switching, a question might arise; When is the person code-switching stupid and when is it okay? While being a white well-known, maybe even famous, man or woman, some might think they are less intelligent for using code-switching words like, “ain’t” or “sayin’”. While society expects African American citizens to use code-switching, they do not have the same expectations for a white citizen. If the “slang” words are used by this important white figure, like a president or a motivational speaker then they are taken less seriously and often stereotyped as dumb or stupid. When a black figure code-switches this is a norm, so nobody pays attention to what everyone is expecting to happen. An example of this would be when Young expresses in his article about President Obamas wife, Michelle. He says that she used words like “ain’t” in her speech and nobody cared or thought lower of her for it. In the novel THUG, Starr’s boyfriend tries to talk like Starr and Seven, her brother, but gets [jokingly] made fun of by Starr. Since it isn’t the “normal” language for white people to talk in, he got judged and laughed at. This is proving that the stereotypes of white people are to always speak “proper” English. Today it is easy to question if you
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