Teacher’s ethnic teasing: Playing with ambiguity and exploiting in-group communication

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This article discusses the issue of ethnic teasing used by a teacher and his students in a multiethnic classroom of a German middle school. The teacher and his students exploit the resources of the racist discourse for multiple in-group rituals. Based on a school ethnography and conversation analysis, this case study attempts to interpret the teasing practices, which are performed in a classroom where ethnicity matters greatly. The teasing interactions here, questioned in the local context, seem to be a part of a working consensus, helping to regulate interpersonal relations in class. These vague and risky practices infringe the politeness norms: they are based on a daily face-attack ritualization through which a partial weakening of the discriminatory effect might be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2018