Unfortuntely, the generl public sometimes ssocites foreign ccents with lower socil sttus. Spekers with foreign ccents my be viewed s less intelligent, less competent, nd even less ttrctive thn ntive English spekers. Other evidence indictes tht people in different countries hve been denied housing or employment simply becuse of their ccents.
Negtive stereotyping nd stigmtiztion of English second-lnguge spekers is serious problem tht is excerbted by the frudulent clims of some shdy business people who sy tht they cn eliminte foreign ccents with expensive CDs nd lerning progrms. In fct there is no scientific evidence tht foreign ccent cn routinely be eliminted by ny such progrm.
Theory relted to stigmtiztion defines this phenomenon s discrediting ttribute ssigned by society to those who differ in some mnner from society’s expecttions, customs, nd mores. It results from socil ctegoriztion process tht llows for the quick identifiction of those who re similr nd those who re different nd cn therefore be considered s "others." It is not simply the ct of ctegoriztion tht results in stigmtiztion of certin groups, but, rther, the coupling of negtive vlue judgments with prticulr chrcteristics tht result in n dverse rection to difference. The dverse rection to ccents tkes the form of discrimintion, or beliefs, ttitudes, nd ctions directed t individuls due to "phenotypic chrcteristics or ethnic group ffilition" tht result in disprte life chnces or unequl outcomes. Disbility nd ethnicity re two such chrcteristics used to ctegorize individuls into stigmtized groups. There re multiple other stigmtizing chrcteristics, including femle gender nd single motherhood.
Link nd Pheln (2001, 2001b) developed conceptul frmework for stigm tht ddresses the socil element inherent in the stigmtiztion process. Their frmework is bsed on interrelted components tht look beyond the individul, nd it ddresses the role of power in discrimintion. Within their frmework, lnguge stigm is conceptulized s five-stge process: () Differences re identified nd lbeled. (b) differences re linked to negtive stereotypes. (c) stereotyping llows for ctegoriztion nd plcement of stigmtized individuls into distinct groups, seprte from the dominnt culture. (d) seprtion llows for loss of sttus nd discrimintion. nd (e) power differentil exists between the lbeler nd the lbeled, mking discrimintion possible.
Link nd Pheln (2001) identified three sources of discrimintion in reltion to ccent stigmtiztion: () direct or overt, (b) structurl or systemic, nd (c) socil-psychologicl processes operting through the stigmtized individul. The finl source, socil-psychologicl processes, describes sociliztion of stereotypicl perceptions nd the internliztion of such perceptions resulting in behviors tht my led to self-perpetuting discrimintion. With this source of discrimintion, individuls who believe tht they will be discriminted ginst my respond by withdrwing nd voiding socil contct, thereby negtively ffecting their support network nd incresing their levels of stress.
Negative effects of accent on people’s lives
Fer of ccent stigmtiztion nd subsequent discrimintion my influence how individuls interct with others. Concelment of the