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|
> >>> 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