DOI link for Outing Foreigners
Outing Foreigners book
Lavapies is a multicultural, multiracial place, and very likely its inhabitants encounter the question “where are you from?” on a regular basis. Accent-prompted comments make evident to foreigners that there was some inadequacy or, in the best case, peculiarity that prompted their interlocutors’ intervention. Awareness of inadequacy, even of peculiarity, can have psychological effects on the addressee, the foreigner/person with an accent, that are related to their epistemic agency. Being perceived as a foreigner might also distort epistemic authority in the opposite direction, by granting someone a disproportionally high credibility in other matters, as in culinary customs or politics of their country of origin. As suggested in the empirical literature on the perception of non-native speakers, accent is one significant social marker that can trigger faulty credibility attributions. A general reflection on linguistic microaggressions has to do with the aforementioned idea that they reflect devaluation of certain languages and linguistic varieties.