Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

A Look at Cannabis Branding Language in Michigan

A Look at Cannabis Branding Language in Michigan

Lily Adzigian

The main goal of this paper is to examine the linguistic techniques utilized by cannabis companies to market their product and brand themselves.  Cannabis companies are not allowed to advertise their product on tv the way beer, wine, and coffee all can.  They must rely on the descriptions of their product and company to define their image. Cannabis companies can use techniques from other products to overcome its stigma and redefine their product.  Using websites that are databases for cannabis strains along with cannabis companies’ websites, the descriptions of numerous brands and strains were observed.  Dan Jurafsky outlines ways high-end restaurants use language to promote a “farm to the table” experience to demonstrate the quality of their product. Cannabis companies utilize these same techniques to inform their consumer of the healthy origins of their product.  This paper demonstrates that companies are utilizing language to align their product with modern, healthy companies to break the negative stigma and brand themselves as being on the cutting edge of health and wellness.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

Deadly Performance: A Discursive-Linguistic Analysis of Dave Grossman’s “Killology” as Ideological Text within Cultural Context of Police Use of Force

Deadly Performance: A Discursive-Linguistic Analysis of Dave Grossman’s “Killology” as Ideological Text within Cultural Context of Police Use of Force

Seth Allard

This paper examines the activities of popular speaker and writer Dave Grossman, specifically, responses to Grossman’s “sheepdog” analogy and “field of killology” within the cultural and ideological contexts of police use of deadly force. The author explores discourse-linguistic analysis of a recorded seminar (“Bulletproof Mind Training”) and key samples of Grossman’s written works. Grossman’s conclusions and theories are approached as performance of ideological discourses or texts that are embedded, produced, and reflected within the cultural context of police use of deadly force. The communicative and performative nature of police use of deadly force training and dissemination of knowledge represents a critical entry point for highlighting the confluence of language, symbolism, and police use of deadly force practices. The value of linguistic-discursive research as a valuable component of collaborative, applied anthropological research designed to prevent misuses of deadly force, and implications for sociocultural analysis of pseudoscience as a form of discourse within deadly use of force and violence-related training, policy, and practice are discussed.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | Leave a comment

Satanic Language: A Question About The Satanic Temple

Satanic Language: A Question About The Satanic Temple

Gavin Baltes

Religion is a fundamental aspect of American society, one that has become so interwoven into the fabric of our culture and politics that many don’t actively realize the true extent to which religion has subverted what should, in truth, be a secular institution. This paper notes the way in which one new religious group, The Satanic Temple, has decided to fight back against this religious overreach by utilizing a method best described as “fighting fire with fire”. The Satanic Temple is known for using satire, their satanic nature, and religious language to provoke opponents into inadvertently aiding the Temple in accomplishing its goals, and in doing so revealing these acts of overreach for what they truly are. By analyzing several pieces of literature related to the Temple, including novels, articles, movie interviews, and even the direct writings of the Temple itself, this paper aims to not only understand how exactly the Temple’s methods, especially those related to religious language, function, but also how the Temple’s actions draw attention to the surprisingly biased way in which American society views religion and religious freedom. Through the use of shock and awe tactics, and by manipulating the religious superstition of their adversaries, the Temple forces their opponents to either afford the Satanic Temple equal standing or admit their own hypocrisy. Furthermore, the actions the Temple takes forces those who witness them to question the paradigm many have long taken for granted. Finally, in doing so, the Temple forces us to reevaluate long-held beliefs about what can and cannot be considered a religion.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 3 Comments

Defense, Memory, and Land: Linguistic Analysis of the Destruction of Fort Shelby

Defense, Memory, and Land: Linguistic Analysis of the Destruction of Fort Shelby

John W. Cardinal

Memories of places and events can leave a deep impact on a society, but this can also change over time. This paper follows a trajectory similar to the work of of Craig Cipolla by examining various written accounts of Fort Shelby, leading up to and after its destruction, revealing how the interpretation of a site can vary among various perspectives, and changes through time. This in turn can provide a greater insight into the historical archaeology of the site. Built by the British garrison of Detroit during the American Revolution, it was one of the very few structures to survive the great fire of 1805, and was the site of surrender during the War of 1812, before being transferred to the city of Detroit in 1826 and subsequently dismantled. This discourse analysis examines the concepts of expediency, modernity, beauty, and loss, by examining official government and military documents, personal accounts, artifacts, and monuments, while exploring the narrative told of the fort as it changed throughout the history of Detroit.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Blueberries, Apes, and Golf Balls: Creation and Use of Language in Destiny 2 

Blueberries, Apes, and Golf Balls: Creation and Use of Language in Destiny 2 

Casey Carter

Communities of all types and sizes have a natural predilection to create and adapt language to suit the needs of their community. Online communities, specifically those that form in and around online games, have a unique language structure that is formed cooperatively among the game’s players. The specific online game that I dissect and discuss within this paper is Destiny 2, an online role-playing and first-person shooter game. The focus of this paper is to look at how the community of Destiny 2 players both adapts existing language and creates its own language. The language that is used widely throughout the Destiny 2 community, once learned, is almost ubiquitous in conversation about the game. The primary way that I tested and observed the effects of the player created language on the player-base is through the cooperative “looking for group” system on the Xbox console network. Streamers and YouTubers are also a key part of the spreading and popularization of language within the Destiny 2 community, and to analyze this aspect of the community I spent many hours watching three of these career players. This language can also be used intentionally by players to keep new and inexperienced players away from their in-game team, which can lead to the gatekeeping of high-level activities by the game’s own veteran player-base. For better or worse, the communities surrounding popular online games such as Destiny 2 will have some form of language creation and it is important to understand this language formation and its effects in our increasingly online and interconnected world. 

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

Acknowledging the Act: Analyzing Indigenous Land Acknowledgements Through the Lens of Speech Act Theory and Performativity

Acknowledging the Act: Analyzing Indigenous Land Acknowledgements Through the Lens of Speech Act Theory and Performativity

Julia DiLaura

The recent trend of reading Indigenous land acknowledgements before events has led many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to examine its action. By using J.L. Austin’s perspective on speech act theory and studies on performativity, this paper will analyze Indigenous land acknowledgements to understand what speech acts the statements are creating. The land acknowledgements from five Michigan universities and colleges were chosen for linguistic analysis. Additionally, other sources like news articles and paperwork from university organizations were also examined for context and evidence. By reading a land acknowledgement, the institution is performing the act of an apology, but the apology is questioned as to its sincerity and effectiveness. Another act performed is the act of purification of guilt for uncritical non-Indigenous people as they might believe that colonization has ended and can feel comfortable on land that has been taken through coercion or outright stolen. This leads many to question how effective land acknowledgements are for Indigenous recognition and what narratives are being centered.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Psychedelic Therapies: Elucidating Deception with Discourse Analysis of Big Pharma

Psychedelic Therapies: Elucidating Deception with Discourse Analysis of Big Pharma

Michael Drasher

Clinical evidence of the medicinal benefit of psychedelic drugs has been known since the 1950’s.  Because psychedelic drugs became associated with the revolutionary movement of the 1960’s the US government’s discourse concerning psychedelics became politicized and dishonest as the drugs were classified as schedule 1 drugs. In this research discourse analysis is used to unveil how just as the US government’s discourse concerning psychedelics was used to secure political control, now pharmaceutical companies are doing the same to manipulate the lucrative industry at the expense of mental health patients. How is it that the discourse concerning psychedelic medicine has so drastically shifted from declaring war on their use to becoming the savior of future mental health therapies?  With the psychedelic therapy industry expected to exceed $6.7 billion by 2027 it becomes clear that the driving force shaping psychedelic discourse is money. One must ask, “Who or what may possess the power and capital capable of manipulating this discourse in recent years and why?”  Other fields of medicine such as insulin therapy offer analogous comparisons with striking revelations pointing toward the source of this power: Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company with a market cap of $291 Billion in 2022. Eli Lilly is a major manufacturer of insulin; the injustices continually perpetuated by its exploitative practices has rendered insulin inaccessible killing many Americans inciting widespread protests.  In addition to being a leading producer of insulin, Eli Lilly is among the top three pharmaceutical companies competing for domination of psychedelic therapies. Due to lobbying power the discourse of the US government and pharmaceutical investors are increasingly interconnected.  This research employs discourse analysis to elucidate how Eli Lilly uses its power and strategies of deceit, censorship and hedging to shape not only the US government’s discourse regarding psychedelics but public consciousness.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 3 Comments

Where They Do Dat At?: Black Perceptions of African American Vernacular English

Where They Do Dat At?: Black Perceptions of African American Vernacular English

Santeiu Griffin

This essay uses documentaries, literary reviews, and discourse analysis to examine the perceptions African American and African immigrants have of AAVE. Throughout this essay, it is shown that African Americans and African immigrants have a highly complex relationship with AAVE. Historical context and external influences have shaped their understanding of AAVE, often resulting in overall negative perceptions of the dialect and the preference of Standard English. However, within the Black community, covert prestige places value on AAVE as it is a large part of the culture. Conversely, preferring Standard English over AAVE causes strife among Black Americans as it is seen as “not being Black enough” or turning one’s back on their own culture. This shows a clear amount of linguistic insecurity among the African American community regarding their own dialect. Additionally, African immigrants tend to have an aversion towards AAVE as their English learning experience often comes from a British-centered curriculum. There is potential for further research regarding how covert prestige and linguistic insecurity can result in unhealthy gatekeeping within the Black community. This essay also suggests further research on the relationship between language and culture and the formation of a positive sense of identity despite internal strife within one’s own community.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Breaking Linguistic Chains: The Dangers of Pathologizing Language in Schizophrenia

Breaking Linguistic Chains: The Dangers of Pathologizing Language in Schizophrenia

Patience Johnson-Williams

This paper analyzes the effects of a schizophrenic diagnosis on a person’s relationships and sense of self.  Schizophrenia is widely considered the most devastating mental disorder, and those who receive this diagnosis are often given limited opportunities and a poor prognosis. This analysis aims to answer the following question: How might a pathologizing language in terms of schizophrenia amplify symptoms and reify labels? To address this question, first-hand accounts from individuals who self-disclose their diagnosis on YouTube are incorporated alongside an extensive literary review. Results show that the normative way of diagnosing schizophrenia in Western society may negatively impact individuals’ future lives. The schizophrenic label is often toxic for those who receive it. Further ethnographic work on the consequences of diagnostic labels may serve to encourage mental health professionals to abandon labels for a more inclusive, holistic treatment method.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

“Hello and Welcome Back to Hell”: Linguistic Performances of Authenticity by Left-Wing YouTube Influencers

“Hello and Welcome Back to Hell”: Linguistic Performances of Authenticity by Left-Wing YouTube Influencers

Hope Kujawa

The performance of authenticity as it relates to traditional celebrity status has been extensively studied, and to a lesser extent, so has the authenticity of new types of entertainers who utilize the Internet as their primary platform, such as YouTubers. Authenticity is tied to the performers’ relationship to the audience, and in an era where anyone can produce their own videos, those who wish to succeed must carefully walk the line between being an amateur and an expert, a concept described by scholars such as Aske Kammer and Aditi Bhatia. This study draws on this and other analyses to investigate the strategies that left-wing political YouTube influencers use to simultaneously build rapport with an absent audience, create and promote their image as a brand, and persuade viewers of their political positions. Six YouTube videos from three influencers were viewed, transcribed, and analyzed, which revealed three groups of tactics: casual and humorous language, emotional vulnerability, and openness about the video-making process. These show some similarities with and evolved out of tactics seen in television news and documentaries, but overall indicate a break from traditional methods of building trust. They reflect the necessity of performing amateur expertise and “being oneself” on camera in order to influence political discourse in the twenty-first century, both on the Internet and beyond.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

CHamoru Language and Identity in the United States Mainland

CHamoru Language and Identity in the United States Mainland

Bryan Lamorena

Language helps to form identity, both of the self and within a community. Cultural groups are unified with a common language being a strong signifier of common culture.  However, since the late 1600s, Guam has come under the rule of different colonial entities causing long-lasting negative cultural and linguistic effects.  With the CHamoru language marked as culturally vulnerable by UNESCO, speakers on the island of Guam have made concerted efforts, both inside and outside the classroom, to teach its younger generations the language of their ancestors and connect them to their indigenous heritage.  What does this mean, however, for the CHamorus who have left the island for the US mainland? According to US census data, more CHamorus live off island than on it.  How does language affect their identities as members of the CHamoru diaspora?  Through survey of members of CHamoru communities around the US and analysis of blogs, interviews, and social media, I explore the link between language and identity of ethnic CHamorus living in the US.  The majority of those that have answered the survey were not fluent in the language, while some were learning using online tools and communities as resources, but all agree that language is an important part of identification with the CHamoru culture.  This is a small sample size, and more research into CHamoru communities in the US can illuminate more on how the language is used and spread within them.  However, this preliminary research does shine light on a small segment of the US population.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

Ethical Considerations of Hedging and Expressions of Certainty in the Integrative Treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome  

Ethical Considerations of Hedging and Expressions of Certainty in the Integrative Treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome  

Alexis Martin

Building on studies of hedging and evidentials in medical discourse, this paper examines the relationship between the use of hedging and expressions of certainty in the text of integrative medicine clinic websites aimed at attracting patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Analyzing the differences in the use of these expressions aids in answering questions regarding how providers manage patient expectations, the ethics of making claims about treatment efficacy to attract patients to clinics, and the role of integrative medicine clinics in western society and the biomedical community. To answer these questions, the text of seven integrative medicine clinic websites advertising to individuals with FMS or providing information on FMS were analyzed to identify phrases containing hedging or expressions of certainty, and further to identify the different ways in which these phrases rely on biomedical data or conventions as evidence in support of these phrases. Analysis provided insight into the ways in which these clinics attract patients through expressions of certainty while, in some cases simultaneously, managing patient expectations using hedging. Both types of expressions relied on biomedical data or conventions as evidence to support their claims, but websites utilizing expressions of certainty more heavily tended to refute this evidence while websites utilizing higher proportions of hedging tended to agree and build upon this evidence. Ultimately, the use of hedging and expressions of certainty combined with the use of biomedical evidence demonstrates the various ways integrative medicine clinics balance attracting patients with the ethics of promising effective treatment in a society dominated by biomedical practices. 

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

Why can’t I say ‘fork?’: Taboos and word substitutions in social media settings

Why can’t I say ‘fork?’: Taboos and word substitutions in social media settings

Day O’Neal

This paper analyzes the use of register shifts on the social media app TikTok, in order to avoid the use of taboo words and profanity. The register largely consists of one of six distinct types of word, phrase, or character substitution that is used in place of the term being avoided. Looking at instances of register use and the reasons given for substitution, and comparing their use to actual written user agreements, will answer the fundamental research question: How are register shifts used on social media, why are they used, and what ideology drives their use? Data was collected via publicly posted TikTok videos that fit prescribed criteria, and further research was conducted by literature review. It is found that the use of register shifts on TikTok are used for two main reasons: taboo avoidance to forestall actual or perceived consequences (such as losing viewers or becoming banned from the app), and use as a sort of slang or meme. Of particular interest are the perceived consequences associated with the words marked as taboo – despite the spotty evidence of consequences, many words are still treated as taboo due to an ideology of risk which underpins the phenomenon.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Korean Terms of Address and Social Cognition

Korean Terms of Address and Social Cognition

Victoria Phillips

In Korean culture, the use of first names and pronouns in both terms of address and reference is very limited and heavily restricted. Korean culture places a focus on family names and titles. Korean society has a sort of macro to micro-orientation -the family, group, and country are placed before the individual. This order corresponds to the order of constituents in terms of address. The order is as follows: (Last Name) (First Name) (Stem Title) (Affixal Title). This order correlates to the general holistic or global cognitive styles within Korean culture. The Korean address system contains a hierarchy of titles, first and last names, pronouns, teknonymy (the custom of referring to parents by the names of their children), and borrowed titles from English. In the Korean language, the scales of address forms do not reflect the degree of solidarity but rather power, especially concerning age. This paper aims to explore the cultural conceptualizations and pragmatic considerations behind the use of address terms in Korean. The data presented in this paper is collected from a popular Korean YouTube channel Cherry and Dong, with a focus on and examination of the use of kinship terms. In social interactions, the use of kinship terms indexes both an age stratification and the individual’s relative position in society. These terms of address define the relationship between the addressor and addressee. It is suggested that address terms encode cultural categories (such as kinship) and are constructed from Korean cultural conceptualizations.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

An Ethnopoetic Examination: Franz von Kobell`s Mid-19th-Century Bavarian and High German Poems

An Ethnopoetic Examination: Franz von Kobell`s Mid-19th-Century Bavarian and High German Poems

Alexa C. Maximiliane Ruhfass

This ethnopoetic research examines Franz von Kobell`s utilization of Bavarian languages in his romantic nationalist Bavarian language poems, and his High German prose. It identifies particular, but not separate elements of  Bavarian vernaculars in contrast to High German, and how those elements highlight particular but not separate cultural elements in Bavarian and German societies in the mid 19th century. This analysis stresses the interconnectedness of Catholicism, expansionism, and nationalism, and how Kobell used these power systems in his language interpretations by linking his Bavarian poems, and his High German prose with those dominant, mid-19th century political and religious structures that facilitated the unification of the German Empire. Kobell incorporated metaphors and meta-discursive techniques to contrast liberal-revolutionary and conservative-moralistic social processes to reflect on culture and language, by utilizing particular indexed vernacular territorial and temporal elements, concerning heritage, romanticism, nationalism, conservatism, and Catholicism. In particular, the interconnectedness of politics and Roman Catholicism translates into an interconnectedness yet not interchangeability of Bavarian and German-language communities. Kobell`s poems highlight those particular, but not separate elements of the Bavarian and German culture, and translate them into particular Bavarian, but not separate German societal experiences.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

The Revitalization and Modernization of Anishinaabemowin

The Revitalization and Modernization of Anishinaabemowin

Maria Santine

This paper examines the revitalization of Anishinaabemowin, the endangered language of the Ojibwe people. Revitalization of a language is not successful if it is merely preserved in a fossilized form. Instead, new words must be added to the lexicon so that the language is useful for modern communication. As a result, this paper considers the new Anishinaabemowin nouns that have been created to refer to modern technology. This consideration includes the etymological origins of the words, as well as the successful programs which created them. Further, it considers how these new nouns fit into the grammatical system of the language. Anishinaabemowin nouns are distinguished by gender – animate or inanimate. Thus, the paper investigates whether the new words for modern technology are considered animate, with a sense of agency, or inanimate, with no sense of agency. By investigating several dictionaries compiled by committees of Ojibwe elders, it was found that many of these new nouns are created by agglutination (e.g., ishkodemakakoons ‘battery’ literally means ‘small box fire’) and metonymical extension (e.g., giigidowin ‘phone’ originally meant ‘speech’).  Many of the nouns are classified as inanimate, but some dialects classify ‘car,’ ‘battery,’ and ‘audio player’ as animate. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether this classification is random or intentional. Finally, further investigation is necessary to determine to what extent the speakers might still use loanwords for certain modern concepts.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

The Online Debate Between American Muscle Car Culture and Japanese Car Culture in the Motor City

The Online Debate Between American Muscle Car Culture and Japanese Car Culture in the Motor City

Alicia Shiff

Detroit, also known as the Motor City, has been at the heart of the American muscle car scene for decades and has roots in car manufacturing from its beginning. This paper presents a discourse analysis of the online debates between Japanese and American muscle car communities. The American muscle car community focuses on vehicles mostly owned by older individuals and tend to be more status quo with heavier designs and less efficient, as opposed to the counterculture Japanese car community, which tends to be more nimble and reserved. American muscle cars are more culturally accepted in America and fuel the ‘made in America’ side of the debate which deepens the divide between communities. In both design and demeanor, American muscle cars and Japanese cars reflect the cultures of their origins. This paper examines the conflict and reasons behind the lack of conflict resolution of disagreements in Youtube comments and gain insight into how these debates take place. For this paper I focus on the American muscle car community and Japanese car communities, including the Japanese Domestic Import (JDM) car communities. Cars act as a form of self-expression and because there are big differences in ways people express themselves through cars, significant amounts of discourse have arisen between these two communities online. The debate surrounding these vastly different communities is supported through literature review and discourse analysis, focusing on the use of profanity, slurs, derogatory terms and name calling. This type of discourse flourishes online, and due to the nature of computer mediated communication and anonymity provided by it, frequently remains unresolved. When people have a vehicle of self-expression, it is often followed by strong feelings and opinions on this form of expression. This discourse is particularly relevant between JDM and muscle car communities, in an arena where conflict and debate is the norm and where resolution is the rarity.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Expected Etiquette for Drinking Rituals in China: Natives vs. Foreigners

Expected Etiquette for Drinking Rituals in China: Natives vs. Foreigners

Marissa Torey

This paper discusses the different forms of etiquette of Chinese drinking rituals in business settings within China. The consumption of alcohol is a main part of a 9 to 5 job in China and people are expected to be able to hold their own in most occupational positions. The correlation between natives and non-natives, going into further distinction between genders. Exploring the use of ganbei and other parts of discourse within the guanxi culture. This paper then looks at the use of power play and inequality between status and gender of discourse during drinking rituals and how if one denies the advances, it can cause someone to lose face (mianzi) or personal honor. Next this paper looks at the negative aspects of the ganbei culture and the consequences that the drinking culture entails between foreigners and natives. This paper discusses if knowing the Chinese language is essential or not for one to successfully follow the drinking etiquette. Looking at the expected etiquette for natives and non-natives will help give a better understanding on how drinking rituals in business settings within China are common and what one might expect and to follow when traveling there in order to not offend anyone.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

To Weed or Not to Weed, that is the Question Asked About Dandelions and Clovers by Home Gardeners on Reddit

To Weed or Not to Weed, that is the Question Asked About Dandelions and Clovers by Home Gardeners on Reddit

A.G. Woody

The two groupings of plants known as dandelions and clovers are currently classified in common English language gardening discourse as weeds, despite having no biological differences from their so-called flower counterparts. Despite this apparent categorization, a trend supporting the rebranding of dandelions and clovers has slowly been taking root in many online home-gardening communities, one of which can be found on under the handle r/gardening. As both this trend and the use of online forums such as for observations and analysis are relatively recent, there is a lack of information and data regarding the change in the conversation about weeds in online home-gardening communities. This paper, therefore, examines the discourse surrounding dandelions and clovers as weeds through four r/gardening posts to show one popular and one lesser opinion for both dandelions and clovers that utilize multiple linguistics strategies such as animacy and lack thereof, metaphor-based rhetoric, and discontinuities in phrasing and word choice that either denote or promote these plants as weeds. The analysis of these posts shows that the more popular opinion has shifted from the old way of classifying dandelions and clovers as cruel and invasive weeds to recognizing them as beautiful and intentional flowers that hold agency and support local ecosystems.

April 20, 2022 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Sassy, Moody, Nasty: The Performance of Sexuality through Language by Black Women in Hip-Hop

Sassy, Moody, Nasty: The Performance of Sexuality through Language by Black Women in Hip-Hop

Mariah McClendon-Smith

On the topic of hip-hop music, scholarly debates have ensued for decades about whether sexually explicit lyrics of Black female rappers are degrading to women or a means of empowerment. In taking the stance that these lyrics and explicit performances of sexuality are empowering, this essay uses Black feminist theory to go beyond the debate and explore how such expressions combat racial and sexist stereotypes and expectations of Black women. Furthermore, this essay explores how explicit sexual performances can be empowering while also demonstrating how the spectrum of sexual expression has been broadened by contemporary female rappers. What linguistic strategies do these rappers employ for combating negative stereotypes in their music? How do such performances fit into racialized expectations of Black women? How are these performances perceived by the public and how do these artists respond? What implications do these performances have on how Black girls and women shape their sexual identities? If we are to move beyond the degrading/non-degrading binary, how might answering these questions help us do that? To build on previous research by H. Samy Alim, Valerie Chepp, and others about Black women in hip-hop this essay uses rapper Megan Thee Stallion as a case study by delving into a thematic analysis of her lyrics, exploring critiques of her work, and unpacking her responses to them. Ultimately, women like Megan Thee Stallion are multifaceted; judging Megan, and artists like her, solely based on sexually explicit lyrics, reduces them to stereotypical characterizations and undermines other potentialities for these expressions.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment