Amazing Grace: An Analysis of Barack Obama’s Raciolinguistic Performances

  • H. Samy AlimEmail author
  • Geneva Smitherman


A large number of American researchers have recently been dedicated to theorize about language and races as a unified social process rather than as two independent disciplines. Within this “new” field of study called raciolinguistics, in which it is intended to apply the different linguistic methods to analyze and solve the most relevant problems on the relations between language, race and power, one can observe how language shapes ethnoracial identities as well as the role it plays in racialization and its importance in the concepts of race and racism, in general. The scope of this paper is to also theorize about language and race but with special attention to how both processes nurture and constitute each other. Through President Barack Obama’s discourse, it is intended to demonstrate what speaking as a racialized subject and as one of the most important social figures in today’s America implies. Likewise, through what is said or what media mentions about his way of speaking, one is able to distinguish why this interdiscipline proposes that race is sociolinguistically constructed and not only socially.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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