The study of teenagers in the classroom, and how they interact with one another and their teachers, can tell us a great deal about late-modern society. In this revealing account, Ben Rampton presents the extensive sociolinguistic research he carried out in an inner-city high school. Through his vivid analysis of classroom talk, he offers answers to some important questions: does social class still count for young people, or is it in demise? Are traditional authority relationships in schools being undermined? How is this affected by popular media culture? His study, which provides numerous transcripts and three extensive case studies, introduces a way of perceiving established ideas in sociolinguistics, such as identity, insecurity, the orderliness of classroom talk, and the experience of learning at school. In doing so, Rampton shows how work in sociolinguistics can contribute to some major debates in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and education.