A Critical Pragmatic Study Of Hate Speech In Some Selected American Movies

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Asawer Fadhel Hassan , Wafaa Sahib Mehdi Muhammed


Language is supposed to be the means of harmonious communication. It can be used negatively for intended purposes, however. Hate speech (henceforth HS) is a language that is directed toward other people. It is motivated by differences in some personal characteristics such as race, class, nationality, gender, or religion. It has been sparked by movies, especially American ones. This paper puts this negative social issue under scrutiny in terms of the critical pragmatic approach. It aims to answer these questions: What are the most common motivations that incite HS in American movies? How can HS be represented pragmatically? What are its effects on the people who receive it? This study hypothesizes that the most common motivations of HS in American movies are race and gender. Secondly, HS can be presented pragmatically by using pragmatic theories like strategic maneuvering, reference, and impoliteness. Finally, HS has many effects, like silencing others, isolating and excluding them from social life, or even declaring war. This study develops an eclectic model for analyzing the data. They are five American movies that have been chosen randomly: Gangs in New York (2002), North Country (2005), The Help (2011), Camp X-ray (2014), and Hidden Figures (2016). It makes use of the theories of strategic maneuvering (Eemeren & Houtlosser, 2002), reference (Korta and Perry, 2011), and impoliteness (Culpeper, 1996). This study has led to a variety of conclusions, the most central of which is that HS is not a random speech but is issued in three related stages: motivational, representational, and effective. Additionally, the analysis proves the workability and applicability of the developed model for examining HS from a critical pragmatic perspective.

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