Review of Communication Research

INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION                                                                                                

Title & Authors

How Stereotypes Are Shared Through Language: A Review and Introduction of the Social Categories and Stereotypes Communication (SCSC) Framework

Camiel J. Beukeboom (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL)

Christian Burgers (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL)

Highlights

 

• Based on an integrative review we propose the SCSC framework that explicates the linguistic processes through which social-category stereotypes are consensualized..

• We discuss how biases in language use both result from and maintain perceived category entitativity, stereotype content, and essentialism.

We distinguish biases in both the content and linguistic form of social-category labels.

• We distinguish biases in both communication content and linguistic form in descriptions of behaviors and characteristics of categorized individuals.

• Our integrative framework allows for a better understanding of stereotype maintaining biases in natural language.

 

Abstract

Language use plays a crucial role in the consensualization of stereotypes within cultural groups. Based on integrative review of the literature on stereotyping and biased language use, we propose the Social Categories and Stereotypes Communication (SCSC) framework. The framework integrates largely independent areas of literature, and explicates the linguistic processes through which social-category stereotypes are shared and maintained. We distinguish two groups of biases in language use that jointly feed and maintain three fundamental cognitive variables in (shared) social-category cognition: perceived category entitativity, stereotype content, and perceived essentialism of associated stereotypic characteristics. These are: (1) Biases in linguistic labels used to denote categories, within which we discuss biases in (a) label content and (b) linguistic form of labels; (2) Biases in describing behaviors and characteristics of categorized individuals, within which we discuss biases in (a) communication content (i.e., what information is communicated), and (b) linguistic form of descriptions (i.e., how is information formulated). Together, these biases create a self-perpetuating cycle in which social-category stereotypes are shared and maintained. The framework allows for a better understanding of stereotype maintaining biases in natural language. We discuss various opportunities for further research.

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How Stereotypes Are Shared Through Language: A Review and Introduction of the Social Categories and Stereotypes Communication (SCSC) Framework

Camiel J. Beukeboom and Christian Burgers

Keywords: Stereotypes; prejudice; discrimination; linguistic bias; social categorization; language; communication; entitativity; essentialism.;

 

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Content

 

 

Introduction

Goals and Approach

Foundational Considerations and Definitions

The Social Categories and Stereotypes Communication (SCSC) Framework

Input About Target’s Situations

(Shared) Social-Category Cognition: Perceived Category Entitativity, Stereotype Content and Perceived Essentialism

Perceived category entitativity.

Cognitive stereotype content.

Perceived category essentialism.

Mutual relationships among the three variables.

Biased Language Use

(1) Biases in linguistic labeling.

(a) Biases in label content.

(b) Biases in the linguistic form of labels.

Section summary.

The role of biased labeling in the consensualization of social category cognition.

(2) Biases in describing behaviors and characteristics of categorized individuals.

(a) Biases in communication content: What information about categorized individuals is communicated.

Section summary.

(b) Biases in linguistic form of communications about categorized individuals.

Section summary and integration.

General Discussion: Contributions, Implications and Future Directions

Contributions: The Role of Language Use in the Consensualization of Social-Category Stereotypes

Practical implications

Conclusion

Literature

 

 

 

Keywords

Stereotypes; prejudice; discrimination; linguistic bias; social categorization; language; communication; entitativity; essentialism.

 

About the Authors

Authors biographical information:

Personal website: Camiel J. Beukeboom

Personal website: Christian Burgers

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