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 – jk - Reinstate Monica Jul 30 '20 at 11:30
  • 1
    But this is still specific on English, unfortunately. – jk - Reinstate Monica Jul 30 '20 at 12:45
  • 4
    So what is the english tag for? – Matt Ellen Jul 30 '20 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” – brass tacks Jul 30 '20 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 – Jeremy Needle Jul 31 '20 at 14:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.