Publication details [#322]

Collins, Katherine A. and Richard Clément. 2012. Language and prejudice: Direct and moderated effects. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 31 (4) : 376–396. 21 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Thousand Oaks: SAGE


This article reviews research on language and discrimination and is based on the belief that language is central in prejudice. The organising framework used relies on Sutton’s (2010) model involving three metaphors for conceptualising language in intergroup relations: LANGUAGE AS A VESSEL, LANGUAGE AS A BAROMETER and LANGUAGE AS A LENS. Through analysis of previous research a fourth metaphor has been identified: LANGUAGE AS A SIGN. The analysis also shows that not many studies so far have been concentrated on the effect of prejudice on language but rather the opposite. Furthermore, the review suggests three issues that future research should address: (i) contradictions between previous studies related to inconsistent findings, (ii) the conditions under which communication strategies are effective or not in reaching communicative goals and (iii)a shift from a paradigm-oriented approach to an object-oriented approach. The framework presented in the article is suggested as a tool to help researchers identify connections between different paradigms.