Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Racetalk consists of the shared vocabularies and conceptual frameworks used to denigrate different racial and ethnic groups in everyday life. Although the open expression of overtly negative racist attitudes, stereotypes, and derogatory ethnic labels was once more socially acceptable in media outlets and in everyday conversation, some argue that newer forms of racial discourse exist in the contemporary post-civil rights era. Indeed, some argue that Whites' racist speech has not diminished but merely transformed toward a more private, codified, and sophisticated way of speaking derogatorily about racial and ethnic groups in nonracist—even nonracial ways. This entry focuses on how racetalk has been conceptualized recently in the academic literature on racial discourse, particularly as a feature of the color-blind, post-civil rights era. Historical examinations of the slave trade, plantation life, and “expansion” into the West reveal that Whites had no qualms about their use of derogatory language and ethnic labels—Black Americans ...