Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The votes are in...

So thank you to all the (80) people who voted in the poll on the dreaded n-word. The results are quite interesting on a number of levels:
  1. Maths isn't my strong point but it adds up to 99%, so I guess there are stray decimal points somewhere.
  2. Lots of people from outside SFX have voted because there are only 13 (self-identified)black people in the poll and that's probably about 20% of the total number of black students we have in AS and A2.
  3. While 11% of respondents are black and don't use the n-word, 5% are black and do use it. The vast majority (88%) don't use it at all.

What does this tell us? Well not a lot. Some explanatory comments would be useful to go with this. For the 5 white or Asian respondents who say they *do* use the word, what context is it in? Are you marking out your affinity to black culture (whatever that means) or are you unreconstructed racists? And for the 9 black respondents who don't use the word, what are your objections?

What it does tell us is that polls like this are only moderately helpful in gauging people's attitudes. So let that be a lesson to you when you do your language investigation coursework!

Useful for:
ENA1 - Language and Representation
EA4C - Language Invetsigation

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