Haagse Harry, a Dutch chav from The Hague?
The enregisterment of similar social personas in different speech communities
This paper presents two remarkably similar characterological figures who are stereotyped embodiments of working-class personas: Haagse Harry in The Hague and chavs in England. The two figures have similar attires, class positions, attitudes, and associated attributes. We compare and contextualize the indexical links between their linguistic features and their social characteristics. Firstly, while chavs can be both men and women, the fictional persona Haagse Harry represents an all-male lower-working-class subculture. Secondly, while Haagse Harry consistently speaks Broad Haags, the language of chavs is not rooted in any single regional dialect but invariably indexes working-class features. Thirdly, Haagse Harry, and his sociolect, has a higher social status compared to the language and persona of chavs, who embody British class prejudice. We demonstrate that the repertoire of linguistic features deployed in the stylisation of characterological figures is strongly dependent on patterns of variation and ideas that are prevalent in the local speech community.
- 2.The characterological figures: Chavs and Haagse Harry
- 2.2Haagse Harry
- 3.The linguistic registers of chavs and Haagse Harry
- 4.Differences in the stylisations of chavs and Haagse Harry
- 4.1Gender differences
- 4.2Coherence of linguistic repertoire
- 4.3Status and prestige