Mock White Girl

Tyanna Debi Slobe, University of Colorado Boulder

Abstract

This thesis describes and analyzes style-shifting linguistic and embodied performances identified as Mock White Girl. Performances parody a linguistic style associated with modern, middle-class, white girls and young women in the United States. I describe semiotic features that signal performances before analyzing two contexts of Mock White Girl: Savior Mock White Girl and Teenage Boy Mock White Girl. I draw attention to ways in which stereotypes about girlhood as a sociocultural category are indexed, constructed, and circulated through these performances. I argue that performances perpetuate middle- class whiteness as an unmarked norm of girlhood in United States media and Anglo- American ideology. Whiteness is maintained as a hegemonic norm through erasure of the sociolinguistic styles and experiences of girls of color and working class girls, as well as through binary juxtapositions of the Mock White Girl style and other racialized and gendered adolescent styles.