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Organon F

Volume 28, May 2021, Issue 3, Pages 708–725

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Value in Language

Beyond the Conversation: The Pervasive Danger of Slurs

Alba Moreno – Eduardo Pérez-Navarro

https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28311

Abstract

Although slurs are conventionally defined as derogatory words, it has been widely noted that not all of their occurrences are derogatory. This may lead us to think that there are “innocent” occurrences of slurs, i.e., occurrences of slurs that are not harmful in any sense. The aim of this paper is to challenge this assumption. Our thesis is that slurs are always potentially harmful, even if some of their occurrences are nonderogatory. Our argument is the following. Derogatory occurrences of slurs are not characterized by their sharing any specific linguistic form; instead, they are those that take place in what we call uncontrolled contexts, that is, contexts in which we do not have enough knowledge of our audience to predict what the uptake of the utterance will be. Slurs uttered in controlled contexts, by contrast, may lack derogatory character. However, although the kind of context at which the utterance of a slur takes place can make it nonderogatory, it cannot completely deprive it of its harmful potential. Utterances of slurs in controlled contexts still contribute to normalizing their utterances in uncontrolled contexts, which makes nonderogatory occurrences of slurs potentially harmful too.

Keywords

Context; derogation; nonderogatory occurrences of slurs; normalization; slurs.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)

Author

Alba Moreno 

Affiliation

Universidad de Granada

Address

Facultad de Psicología, Despacho 256, Campus Universitario de Cartuja, s/n 18011, Granada, Spain

E-mail

almorenozurita@gmail.com

Author

Eduardo Pérez-Navarro

Affiliation

Universidad de Granada

Address

Facultad de Psicología, Despacho 256, Campus Universitario de Cartuja, s/n 18011, Granada, Spain

E-mail

edperez@ugr.es

About this article

Received

3 December 2020

Accepted

9 August 2021

Published online

30 August 2021

Publishers

Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as

APA

Moreno, A. and Pérez-Navarro, E. (2021). Beyond the Conversation: The Pervasive Danger of Slurs. Organon F28(3), 708–725. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28311

Chicago

Moreno, Alba and Pérez-Navarro, Eduardo. 2021. "Beyond the Conversation: The Pervasive Danger of Slurs." Organon F 28 (3): 708–725. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28311

Harvard

Moreno, A. and Pérez-Navarro, E. (2021). Beyond the Conversation: The Pervasive Danger of Slurs. Organon F, 28(3), pp. 708–725. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28311

Copyright information

© Alba Moreno and Eduardo Pérez-Navarro

Response page

https://www.sav.sk/?lang=sk&doc=journal-list&part=article_response_page&journal_article_no=26511

The above URL is linked with the article's response page. The response page is a permanent location that is associated with the article's DOI number.


This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Contact

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