Language in the Trump Era



Early in his campaign, Donald Trump boasted that 'I know words. I have the best words', yet despite these assurances his speech style has sown conflict even as it has powered his meteoric rise. If the Trump era feels like a political crisis to many, it is also a linguistic one. Trump has repeatedly alarmed people around the world, while exciting his fan-base with his unprecedented rhetorical style, shock-tweeting, and weaponized words. Using many detailed examples, this fascinating and highly topical book reveals how Trump's rallying cries, boasts, accusations, and mockery enlist many of his supporters into his alternate reality. From Trump's relationship to the truth, to his use of gesture, to the anti-immigrant tenor of his language, it illuminates the less obvious mechanisms by which language in the Trump era has widened divisions along lines of class, gender, race, international relations, and even the sense of truth itself.

Product Details

$24.99  $22.99
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
September 03, 2020
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.67 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

Norma Mendoza-Denton is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles. In her work at the intersection of language, youth subculture, ethnicity and politics, she has focused on topics ranging from gang members in California to Republican Town Hall meetings in Arizona. She has authored over 50 book chapters and journal articles in the fields of Linguistics, Anthropology, Communication, and Education. She received a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship for the completion of her book Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice in Latina Youth Gangs (Wiley Blackwell, 2008); the second edition is slated to include a graphic novelette. Past president of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, she has served on the Executive Boards of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Visual Anthropology and currently for the Linguistic Society of America. Her other manuscript in progress, Citizen Rage, addresses the linguistic dynamics of town hall meetings and other public events in American politics.
Janet McIntosh is Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University. Her work focuses on linguistic and sociocultural anthropology in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. Her 2016 book, Unsettled: Denial and Belonging among White Kenyans (University of California Press), received Honorable Mention in the 2018 American Ethnological Society Senior Book Prize and Honorable Mention in the 2017 Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing. Her 2009 book, The Edge of Islam: Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenya Coast (Duke University Press) won the 2010 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion. She has published articles in Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Language and Communication, Signs and Society, Journal of Pragmatics, and numerous journals in sociocultural anthropology. She is on the Editorial Boards of Oxford Studies in the Anthropology of Language (Oxford University Press), the journal Cultural Anthropology, and Journal of Religion in Africa. Funded by an ACLS faculty fellowship, she has embarked on a study of language in the United States military.