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ERIC Number: ED085461
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Black and White Symbolic Matrix.
Stabler, John R.; Goldberg, Faye J.
Although many authors have mentioned examples of how black usually connotes a negative evaluation and white a positive evaluation, the literature on the topic has not yet included an attempt to list examples comprehensively. Those which are cited here come from a wide variety of sources: primarily from dictionaries, books of slang, and personal correspondence. Four cases are cited here: black as positive and black as negative, and white as positive and white as negative. The negative associations to black and the positive associations to white may have serious implications insofar as black and white are used as short-hand symbols to denote racial membership. A reasonable expectation, on the basis of generalization, would be that they would enter into judgements of people varying in skin coloration (either one's own or that of others.) There may also be implications for individual personalities when the negative traits of a person became associated with black and the positive ones with white. Word maps are useful to the extent that they accurately reflect the territory represented. Unnecessary difficulties arise when symbols are not accurate insofar as important issues are concerned. Although symbolic functioning is of inestimable human value, psychologists and semanticists have rightly noted some limitations in the process. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A