Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 09:50:57 -0500 From: Robert Ness Subject: Re: subcategories of people Caryl Phillips writes in his novel The Final Passage on minute gradations of skin pigmentation in the West Indies:" Bradeth, tell me what colour you think your child going come? White, fusty, musty, dusty, tea, coffee, cocoa, light black, black, or dark black?" (Penguin:1985, p. 52). Mon, 17 Nov 1997, Lynne Murphy wrote: > hi all-- > > i'm working on a comparison of racial labeling and sexual orientation > labeling, in which i'm looking at some hypotheses from the cognitive > social psychology tradition on social categorization to see if they can > be applied to (and thus supported by) social labeling. anyhow... > > the thing i'm looking at now is the hypothesis that an ingroup will > perceive more differences within itself than the outgroup will perceive > in them--and therefore have more words for different 'subtypes' of the > group. i have lots of examples from the sexual orientation arena. for > example, straight people (the outgroup in this case) have very few words > for, say, gay men, and what they do have reflect generalizations, not > subtyping (e.g., fag, fairy, homo). but gay men have tons of names for > different types of gay men (here's what's on my handout so far): > > Ingroup labels for subcategories of gay men (see also Stanley 1971, Zeve > 1993): > > > queen, etc. > > (fat), Ivy (Indian) > > bottom > > > ok, so now i want to make the same point about ingroups/outgroups when > it comes to race, instead of sexual orientation, considering African > American ingroup terms for other African Americans. all i can think of > right now (and find while skimming DARE and _juba to jive_) are color > terms (high yella/yeller/yellow/brown, nappyblack, etc.). other than > 'uncle tom', which is not exclusively an ingroup term, i can't think of > any sort of cultural/political divisions, sexual divisions (words for > African American women or men, but not both), occupational divisions, or > other "types" (career-driven, sweet old granny, whatever). can any of > you help me out? the type of word i'm trying to find would only refer > to a subgroup of african americans, so it wouldn't count, say, if i had > an AAVE term for a police officer if that word is used for both white > and black police officers. > > i hope i've sufficiently explained what i'm looking for. any words or > references would be most gratefully received. also, if you want to give > me counter evidence to my hypothesis, i'd like to hear that too. > > best, > lynne > -- > > M. Lynne Murphy > Assistant Professor in Linguistics > Department of English > Baylor University > PO Box 97404 > Waco, TX 76798 >