Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

covert prestige (was: RE: Betreft: Re: Self-Use of Ethnic Insults (was: Re: Ebonic Christmas ))

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Sunday, January 16, 2000, 22:05
Rob Nierse:

> >>> Ed Heil <edheil@...> 01/13 10:26 >>> > I predict that within 30 years, due to the taboo on its use as a > racial stereotype and the mainstreaming of rap music, "nigga" will > lose its racial meaning and become a term for "friend" or "comrade." > <<<<<<<<< > > I doubt it. > Take a look at "indio". It used to indicate a native american, > but became an insult. So the term "indi'gena" was made. > Now that has become en insult too, as I found out once. > Just because the people that are meant by it still have > low social status. > > So in my opinion if a person called a "nigga" will remain low > social status, the term will remain it too, I guess.
True in general, but African-Americans are a special case, because of covert prestige -- the technical term for prestige attributed to social groups that do not have overt prestige (power, wealth, etc.). African-Americans are the example of covert prestige par excellance: pretty much every facet of A-A culture is considered admirable and worthy of emulation by large sections of non-A-A society, especially adolescents, who are the strongest driving force in language change. English slang is vivid testimony to this fact. --And.