You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:


Log in through your institution.

Journal Article

"Talking Shit" in Rayne: How Aesthetic Features Reveal Ethical Structures

John Laudun
The Journal of American Folklore
Vol. 125, No. 497 (Summer 2012), pp. 304-326
DOI: 10.5406/jamerfolk.125.497.0304
Stable URL:
Page Count: 23
Were these topics helpful?
See something inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

  • Download ($10.00)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
"Talking Shit" in Rayne: How Aesthetic Features Reveal Ethical Structures
Preview not available


"Talking shit" is a well-established social activity in many African American speech communities. This study of such talk by one speaker in a small south Louisiana town describes the dynamics of such talk as a negotiation, within a flexible set of forms, of the nature of the relationship between the speaker and the researcher in order to place the latter within a traditional framework of relationships between individuals. The study focuses on how the interactional order is embedded in the very structure of talk itself, revealing the potential logic behind what seems at first glance to be "verbal filler" but, I argue, actually is an extension of the larger worldview at work in speaking.

Page Thumbnails