Prompted by the recent move towards replacing the terms "blacklist" and "whitelist", I wonder if there is research around the topic of how people feel about the words "black" and "white", whether the feeling is positive, negative or neutral.

The types of research could be anything. Something like tallying phrase use frequency against how negative or positive the phrase is perceived and if the phrase contains the word "black" or "white", or perhaps reaction time studies presenting the word "white" or "black" in a positive context vs a negative one.

Hopefully that gives an impression of what I'm looking for.

I'm not sure what to search for, so any pointers would be helpful.

  • 1
    Try this on English Language & Usage Jul 30, 2020 at 11:30
  • 1
    But this is still specific on English, unfortunately. Jul 30, 2020 at 12:45
  • 4
    So what is the english tag for?
    – Matt Ellen
    Jul 30, 2020 at 12:49
  • 5
    @jk-ReinstateMonica: this is a question about research on word meanings/emotional valences (a linguistic topic), not a question about “usage” itself. That is, it’s not just “how are black/white used” but “what evidence do linguists use to determine how black/white are used” Jul 30, 2020 at 15:34
  • 2
    Just for a lead, this paper and its references seem to address the question: doi.org/10.2466/pms.1966.22.3.771 Jul 31, 2020 at 14:42


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