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Linguistic Reclamation: Home

The use of derogatory labels by majority groups usually aims to derogate and reinforce the target group’s disempowered state. However, reclaiming, and self-labelling in particular, has the ability to deprive the majority group members of a linguistic hurtful weapon. However, it is not as simple as it may appear. Several contextual factors, such as the label that is used, the social environment you are in, who uses the label, and the relationship between the label user and the target can affect how the label is perceived and the reactions it elicits. Reclaiming can be risky. We should consider that when we decide what label to use, especially if we use it toward others and not ourselves.


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