Differing functions of deracialized speech: The use of place names to index race in focus groups with African American and White parents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Discursive deracialization - the use of veiled references to racial groups - is associated with the discourse of new racism, in which racist sentiments are conveyed in a subtle manner. This article presents a specific strategy of deracialization: using place names and terms to index race. In focus groups held in the United States with African American and White parents, this strategy allowed speakers to covertly connect race to school quality. With the White parents, the indexing of race through place names and terms functioned as a defense against interpretations of their words as racist, regardless of whether racialized groups were explicitly presented in a negative light. In contrast, in the African American group, the strategy allowed speakers to indirectly critique racial inequality in education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-505
Number of pages21
JournalText and Talk
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Whites
  • discourse
  • focus groups
  • new racism
  • race
  • schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language

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