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What constitutes 'discrimination' in everyday talk? Argumentative lines and the social representations of discrimination

Greenland, Katy ORCID:, Andreouli, Eleni, Augoustinos, Martha and Taulke-Johnson, Richard 2018. What constitutes 'discrimination' in everyday talk? Argumentative lines and the social representations of discrimination. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 37 (5) , pp. 541-561. 10.1177/0261927X18762588

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Most people agree that discrimination is wrong, but the boundary between ‘discrimination’ and ‘not discrimination’ is often highly contested in everyday practice. We explore the social representations of ‘discrimination’ as an object of study in qualitative interviews and focus groups with both minority (self-identified as BAME [Black, Asian, and minority ethnic] and/or gay men) and majority (self-identified as White and/or heterosexual) participants (n = 54). Our analysis suggests three repeated and pervasive argumentative lines in social representations of discrimination: (1) that there are two distinct kinds of discrimination (hard vs. soft), (2) that you need to understand the intention of the actor(s), and (3) that a claim of discrimination requires strong evidence. We outline the macro Functions of these resources to argue that each was non-performative: They appeared to be tools to make claims of discrimination, but in practice they were much more effective at making claims of what was not discrimination.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISSN: 0261-927X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 February 2018
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 07:09

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