LNG1100 Language, Culture, and Society, Fall 2018 (D899)


Term paper #3 (10% of your total grade)

The purpose of the last term paper is to deepen your understanding and appreciation of how language can be used to examine identity and social issues. You need to find your own examples and analyze data. Choose one of the following topics and write a 3-4 page paper. You are encouraged to collaborate with a classmate.


Language and Identity

  1. Describe how gender or racial identities are constructed through language use. You can focus on how someone constructs his/her own identity or resist identity being constructed for him/her in interaction. For example, in a group presentation, some students mentioned how gay makeup YouTubers employ the female pronouns to index a gay identity.

Divergent interpretations of linguistic behavior

  1. Bailey (2017) analyzes a viral YouTube video named “10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman” and importantly, 1,000 comments that reveal competing evaluations of the street remarks recorded in the video. Following Bailey’s example, find another viral YouTube clip that lends itself to more than one interpretation (e.g., sexual harassment vs greetings and compliments). Analyze both the video and the comments. Point out how the video is interpreted and provide an account for viewers’ multiple interpretations.


Intercultural communication

  1. Describe two encounters with people from a different cultural background that resulted in either misunderstanding and discomfort. Using key concepts such as communicative conventions, accommodation strategies or pragmatic transfer, analyze the source of misunderstanding. Follow Bailey’s (2000) example.

Grading Criteria

The paper should be 3-4 pages long, double-spaced. Please use Times New Roman and font size should be 12. Include your name, course number and section number in the paper.  

Your term paper will be graded on the following:

  • Clear understanding of the key concepts discussed in class and in readings
  • Quality, quanitity, and originality of examples
  • Overall organization of your paper
  • Quality of your writing (e.g. grammar, sentence structures, style, citation, etc.)

Due day: Thur, Dec 20 (Do not submit your paper late. I will not grade it.)

Electronic Submission

Email your paper to hlo@citytech.cuny.edu. The subject line and the name of the file should be “last name(s) + LNG 1100 Term paper #3” e.g. Smith LNG1100 Term Paper 3