Robin Queen's book on the role of language in the popular media (Vox Popular: The Surprising Life of Language in the Media) was published by Wiley in January. The publisher's website for the book is available at this link. With this book, Robin cements her position as a leading voice on how we use language to create identities for ourselves. She also breaks new ground, showing how sociolinguistic style shifts are used as a narrative device in storytelling, and consequently how sociolinguists can rely on TV shows and movies as a rich source of data. Congratulations, Robin!


Here is the description of the book's contents from its dust cover:

Our favorite movies and TV shows feature indelible characters who tell us about themselves not just in what they say but in how they say it. The creative decisions behind these voices—such as what accent or dialect to use—offer rich data for sociolinguistic study. Ideal for students of language variation as well as general readers interested in media, Vox Popular is an engaging tour through the major issues of sociolinguistic study as heard in the voices from mass media.

And some advance praise from other leading voicing in sociolinguistics:

"In our times, film and television show America talking in a more realistic way every year, and it's high time someone wrote a book on language and society that puts MODERN FAMILY, BOYZ N THE HOOD and much else front and center as useful sources of discussion on how America talks and why. Robin Queen has done the job." –John H. McWhorter, Columbia University

“Robin Queen's Vox Popular manages to do many things at once, and with finesse: it introduces the study of language in its social context in a way that will be accessible to non-linguists; it establishes an approachable, achievable methodology for the study of language in the media that is theoretically sound; and it provides a treasure-trove of material gathered over many years that will be invaluable for anyone teaching these subjects. There are years of work distilled into a readable, useful whole about one of the least studied and most promising areas of research: the role that mediated language plays in constructing social identities, from Donald Duck to Breaking Bad and beyond.” –Rosina Lippi-Green, author of English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the U.S.

"Not only an important contribution to media studies but the kind of book that makes you want to design a new course specifically in order to use it as a text.  A pleasure to read!” –Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University

“Vox Popular convincingly shows that in our media-saturated world, linguistics and cultural studies need each other. Students and faculty in both fields will learn a great deal from this insightful and engrossing text.” –Mary Bucholtz, University of California, Santa Barbara