Linguistic discrimination in urban apartment searches: names and accents across neighborhoods

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Presented by Dr. Inke Du Bois

Lectures, talks and seminars

LALS Seminar Series

14 Feb 2020 4:00 pm to 14 Feb 2020 5:00 pm

MYLT 101 Murphy 101

How does linguistic bias towards ethnic accents and names influence living spaces in different urban neighborhoods?

This presentation uncovers the role that language plays in the distribution of living spaces in a city. One important factor is the hidden or unhidden stereotypes towards certain ethnicities represented through their speech. These often hidden biases lead to landlords’, landladies’ and real estate agents’ decisions on granting apartment viewings towards speakers of certain ethnic names and accents, but less for others. The language-based discrimination occurs statistically less frequently in the more diverse neighborhoods. A discourse analysis of such conversations shows the subtle moves that potentially disempower minority language speakers and re-establish the unbalanced power relationship of the native speakers and the immigrant applicants.

For more information contact: Stephen Skalicky

Speaker Bios

Dr. Inke Du Bois lectures in English Linguistics at the Universität Bremen, Germany.