Prejudice in Discourse

An analysis of ethnic prejudice in cognition and conversation

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In this book, a study is made of ethnic prejudice in cognition and conversation, based on intensive interviewing of white majority group members. After an introductory survey of traditional and more recent approaches in social psychology to the study of prejudice, a new 'sociocognitive' theory is sketched. This theory explains how cognitive representations and strategies of ethnic prejudice depend on their social functions within intergroup relations. It is also shown how ethnic prejudice is communicated in society through everyday talk among majority members. The major part of the book systematically analyzes the various dimensions of prejudiced conversations, such as topical structures, storytelling, argumentation, local semantic strategies, style and rhetoric, and more specific conversational properties. It is shown that such an explicit discourse analysis may reveal underlying cognitive representations and strategic uses of prejudice. Moreover, it appeared that many aspects of prejudiced talk are geared towards the overall strategic goals of adequate self-expression and positive self-presentation. This book is interdisciplinary in nature and should be of interest to linguists, discourse analysts, cognitive and social psychologists, sociologists, and all those interested in ethnic stereotypes, prejudice, and racism.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Pragmatics; Discourse studies

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