The Black Queer Work of Ratchet

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the (Anti)Politics of Respectability

Authors: Lane, Nikki

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  • Addresses the growing use of the word "ratchet" in American popular media over the past several years, but illustrates how similar terms and coded phrases can be reflective of shifts in American culture more broadly Offers rich academic analysis while maintaining an approachable, readable style that engages critically with the term at the center of the studyResearch draws from deep ethnographic data collected over the course of four years

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  • ISBN 978-3-030-23319-8
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Hardcover $74.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-23318-1
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About this book

This book enters as a corrective to the tendency to trivialize and (mis)appropriate African American language practices. The word ratchet has entered into a wider (whiter) American discourse the same way that many words in African American English have—through hip-hop and social media. Generally, ratchet refers to behaviors and cultural expressions of Black people that sit outside of normative, middle-class respectable codes of conduct. Ratchet can function both as a tool for critiquing bad Black behavior, and as a tool for resisting the notion that there are such things as “good” and “bad” behavior in the first place. This book takes seriously the way ratchet operates in the everyday lives of middle-class and upwardly mobile Black Queer women in Washington, DC who, because of their sexuality, are situated outside of the norms of (Black) respectability. The book introduces the concept of “ratchet/boojie cultural politics” which draws from a rich body of Black intellectual traditions which interrogate the debates concerning what is and is not “acceptable” Black (middle-class) behavior. Placing issues of non-normative sexuality at the center of the conversation about notions of propriety within normative modes of Black middle-class behavior, this book discusses what it means for Black Queer women’s bodies to be present within ratchet/boojie cultural projects, asking what Black Queer women’s increasing visibility does for the everyday experiences of Black queer people more broadly.


About the authors

Nikki Lane is an independent, interdisciplinary scholar trained as a Cultural and Linguistic Anthropologist currently teaching courses in the Critical Race, Gender & Cultural Studies Collaborative at American University in Washington, DC. 


Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)
  • The Ethnography of Ratchet: Studying Language Practices of the Black (Queer) Middle-Class

    Pages 1-34

    Lane, Nikki

  • Defining Ratchet: Ratchet and Boojie Politics in Black Queer Space

    Pages 35-66

    Lane, Nikki

  • Being Ratchet: Undoing the Politics of Respectability in Black Queer Space

    Pages 67-90

    Lane, Nikki

  • Representing Ratchet: Screening Black Lesbian Sex and Ratchet Cultural Politics

    Pages 91-110

    Lane, Nikki

  • Coming Out Ratchet and Whole: Black Women and the Struggle to Just Be

    Pages 111-146

    Lane, Nikki

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-23319-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $74.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-23318-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Black Queer Work of Ratchet
Book Subtitle
Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the (Anti)Politics of Respectability
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-23319-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-23319-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-23318-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 168
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics