Date/Time: Wed 18 Apr / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
School of Social Sciences
Politics and International Relations Seminar : Sound Reasoning: Why Accent Bias Matters for Democratic Theory
Accent bias, namely an unwarranted prejudice towards an interlocutor based on their manner of speech, is a subtle yet powerful feature in the political life of language. This is especially so in democratic polities characterised by a diverse soundscape. The powerful and often covert nature of accent bias, and its capacity to generate significant epistemic injustice, poses a critical challenge to democratic theory and praxis, by challenging its commitment to liberty, equality, inclusivity and reciprocity, and the very process of democratic reasoning, This paper offers a comprehensive and empirically supported analysis of the political life of accent, and advocates the cultivation of a sense of metalinguistic awareness among political actors, professional and otherwise, in order to counter the considerable risk of accent bias in democratic life. This cultivation draws on a conception of language that is socially-embedded and dialogic, and which can contribute to a more informed democratic theory of language.
Yael Peled is a Research Associate at the Institute for Health and Social Policy based at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Applied Philosophy, Bioethics, and Language Policy. Her monograph Normative Language Policy: Ethics, Politics, Principles (co-authored with Leigh Oakes) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.
Matteo Bonotti is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Monash University. His work has appeared in such journals as the American Political Science Review, the European Journal of Political Theory, Philosophy & Social Criticism, and the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. His monograph Partisanship and Political Liberalism in Diverse Societies was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.
Wednesday 18 April
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
(Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk,
For further information, please contact Paul Muldoon on 9905 2972