Accents and their Media Stereotypes

4 April 2015
This paper examines the arguments and findings of three articles that explain how the use of accents perpetuate stereotypes . These articles are: “Teaching Children How to Discriminate”: “What We Learn From the Big Bad Wolf”; “Hillbillies, Rednecks and Southern Belles”: “The Language Rebels” and “Does accent matter in international television advertisements?”
“The overall representation of persons with foreign accents was seen to be “far more negative” than that of speakers of US or British English. Lippi-Green found that 20 percent of characters with US English accents are bad characters, while about 40 percent of characters with non-native accents are evil (92). US or British English accents also index attractiveness in Disney films. “To be sexually attractive and available, a character must not only look the idealized part, but… also sound white and middle-class American or British” (97). It’s fascinating to note that although every character in Aladdin was born and raised in an Arabian land, only the evil guards and sorcerer speak with a pseudo-Arabic accent. The protagonists speak like Californians.”
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