Alim’s research interests include anthropology and education; cultural studies; ethnography; identity; language; literacy and culture; race, inequality and language in education; and urban education.
Alim is an expert on black language, language and politics, language and culture, hip-hop culture, popular culture, youth art, verbal art, urban youth, arts and education, education and social justice, and sociolinguistics. He has a particular interest in language, literacy and youth culture, particularly hip-hop culture, and critical language awareness for socially marginalized and linguistically profiled populations. He seeks to illuminate the relationships between language, race and ethnicity across a wide range of social, cultural and educational contexts. His work aims to understand how youth make sense of their social worlds and communities and help them do so by influencing teacher preparation, pedagogy and policy. 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.