Mention ‘accentism’ and some people will inevitably roll their eyes, saying ‘not another–ism! It’s political correctness gone mad!’ However, are we honestly going to say that accent-based prejudice does not exist? All too often, someone who doesn’t like our accent makes a negative comment about it – this in turn equates to a negative comment about the speaker too, as our accent is indeed a part of who we are. Or perhaps people have made jokes about your accent, declaring that ‘it’s just a bit of fun, so what’s the harm?’ Or do you have the ‘wrong’ accent for the job? The list is endless.
My publication explores the prejudice against accent, observing how we form impressions of a persons identity on the basis of their accent.