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H. Samy Alim

Professor and David O. Sears Presidential Endowed Chair in the Division of Social Sciences

Contact Information

Email    halim@ucla.edu
Office  384 Haines

H. Samy Alim is a Professor of Anthropology and David O. Sears Presidential Endowed Chair in the Division of Social Sciences. His goal is to illuminate the relationships between language, race and ethnicity across a wide range of social, cultural and educational contexts. His research integrates rigorous linguistic analysis with in-depth, ethnographic engagement in local communities to contribute to theory and methodology in education, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and race and ethnic studies. Alim develops this knowledge with the twin goals of understanding how youth make sense of their social worlds and communities and helping them do so by impacting teacher preparation, pedagogy and policy. He has an interest in language, literacy, and youth culture, particularly Hip Hop Culture, and critical language awareness for socially marginalized and linguistically profiled populations.


PhD, Educational Linguistics, Stanford University (2003)
MA, Linguistics, Stanford University (2002)
BA, African Languages and Linguistics; Biological Basis of Behavior, University of Pennsylvania, (1999)

Selected Publications

Alim, H. Samy, Awad Ibrahim & Alastair Pennycook. (eds.) 2009. Global Linguistic Flows: Hip Hop Cultures, Youth Identities, and the Politics of Language. London & New York: Routledge.

Alim, H. Samy and John Baugh. (eds.) 2007. Talkin Black Talk: Language, Education and Social Change. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University. 176 pgs.

Alim, H. Samy. 2006. Roc the Mic Right: The Language of Hip Hop Culture. London & New York: Routledge, 208 pgs.

Spady, James G., H. Samy Alim and Samir Meghelli. 2006. Tha Global Cipha: Hip Hop Culture and Consciousness. Philadelphia, PA: Black History Museum, 704 pgs.

Alim, H. Samy. 2004. You Know My Steez: An Ethnographic and Sociolinguistic Study of Styleshifting in a Black American Speech Community. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press, 303 pgs.


Anthropology and education; cultural studies; ethnography; identity; language; literacy and culture; urban education