House Signs and Collegiate Fun
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House Signs and Collegiate Fun : Sex, Race, and Faith in a College Town

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Description

It's no secret that fun is important to American college students, but it is unusual for scholars to pay attention to how undergraduates represent and reflect on their partying. Linguist and anthropologist Chaise LaDousa explores the visual manifestations of collegiate fun in a Midwestern college town where house signs on off-campus student residences are a focal point of college culture. With names like Boot 'N Rally, The Plantation, and Crib of the Rib, house signs reproduce consequential categories of gender, sexuality, race, and faith in a medium students say is benign. Through his analysis of house signs and what students say about them, LaDousa introduces the reader to key concepts and approaches in cultural analysis.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 50 b&w illus.
  • 0253223261
  • 9780253223265

Review quote

"LaDousa makes excellent use of the formal interviews collected by his students to show that house signs are indeed a serious subject. In doing so he has provided us with a valuable text for introducing students to the field of linguistic anthropology and the process of collecting and analyzing data about textual practices in everyday life." -Journal of Linguistic Anthropology "LaDousa presents weighty matters with intelligence and nuance, and yet always clearly, and with a wealth of data that generates a multitude of 'aha' moments." -James Collins, University at Albany, SUNY "A fascinating, surprising, and intriguing look at pervasive house signs in a Midwestern U.S. college town, this book will delight college students, appeal to those who teach them, and engage those who study them across several disciplines. It is a skillful analysis of contemporary material culture, its playfulness, creativity, and ambiguities. It is also a vivid example of the multiple ways in which people engage with signs (visual or verbal)--from assuming that they have obvious meanings to privileging particular interpretations ,and even to denying that signs have any meaning at all." -Virginia Dominguez, University of Illinois "A very lively read, one of those rare books that brings a sophisticated interpretive perspective together with ethnographic materials that are engaging, thought-provoking, and, for many of us and especially for our students, both experience-near and surprising. Good to read and think with, and likely to become, quite deservedly, a classic for undergraduate teaching." -Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruzshow more

About Chaise Ladousa

Chaise LaDousa is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College.show more

Table of contents

Introduction "The Ivy League": House Signs and Their Display1. "Bed, Booze, and Beyond": History and Ethnography of Collegiate Fun2. "Witty House Name": The Textual Lives of House Signs3. "Inn Pursuit"... of Christ: The Unevenness of Agency4. "Ghetto Fabulous" and "Plantation": Racial Difference in a Space of Fun5. "Hot Box," "Box Office," and "Fill Her Up": Reflections on Gender and SexualityConclusion "Where the Sidewalk Ends": Remarks on Cultural Production and EthnographyNotes References Indexshow more

Rating details

8 ratings
3 out of 5 stars
5 12% (1)
4 38% (3)
3 0% (0)
2 38% (3)
1 12% (1)
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