Language and Discrimination

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LANGUAGE AND DISCRIMINATION TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction 1. Language and Discrimination 1.1 Direct versus Indirect Discrimination 1.2 Discriminatory Language 1.3. Hate Speech 2. Strategies of Discrimination 2.1. Reisigl & Wodak Theory 2.2 Linguistic Strategies Conclusion Bibliography Introduction The word discrimination derives from the Latin word ‘discriminare’ and etymologically means to "distinguish between". However, this term has a far more negative connotation attached to it, than it was originally intended to have. To discriminate has the meaning of making differentiations between people based on social categories without regard to individual merit. Examples of social discrimination include racial, religious, sexual, weight, disability, ethnic, height-related, employment discrimination and age-related discrimination. This means that people are treated unfairly or are disadvantaged because they are assigned to a certain category that is not preferred. Discrimination cannot only be carried out through actions but also verbally, through written and spoken language. Thus the act of discriminating plays a very important role on the pragmatic level of a language (sentence meaning and speaker's meaning) its effects having even more importance on the socio-cultural level. In this paper I will look at the different kinds of discrimination through language and their effects. I will also try to examine in what ways people discriminate others and how such discrimination is carried out linguistically. In addition I am going to give relevant examples for discrimination through the use of language. Concluding, I will discuss the term ‘hate speech’ as the most effective and direct kind of discrimination through language, by providing examples of political hate speech. 1. Language and

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