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Ethnophaulisms (Roback, 1944; from the Greek roots meaning "a national group" and "to disparage") are the blason populaire, the words used as ethnic slurs to refer to outgroups (Allen, 1983; Ericson, 1939; Joesten, 1935; Khleif, 1979; MacMullen, 1963; Nielsen, 1979; Smythe & Seidman, 1957). Ericson (1939) proposed the term ecthronym (from the Greek roots meaning "hostile" and "name") to refer to the same words Roback (1944) identified as ethnophaulisms. Whereas Roback's term gained currency, especially among linguists and sociologists, Ericson's term is seldom used. Palmore (1962, p. 442) went so far as to state that "it is probably safe to say that there is no known group which does not use ethnophaulisms." Even in what is sometimes caricatured as a "politically correct" cultural climate, the popular media continue to report the use of ethnophaulisms in interethnic conflicts (e.g., Munthit, 1998; Peterson, 2000; "First Lady Denounces," 2000) and in heated sports competitions (e.g., Freeman, 1998; Litke, 1997). Schneider, Hitlan, and Radhakrishanan (2000), in a questionnaire study of samples of working men and women, reported that more than 20% of their 572 respondents indicated they had heard ethnophaulisms about their own ethnic ingroup. The shooters responsible for the deaths at a high school in Littleton, Colorado, referred to Isiah Shoels with ethnophaulisms as they killed him ("Boy Tells," 1999). Indeed, popular fiction often employs the use of "fictional" ethnophaulisms as a telegraphic shorthand for intergroup conflict and hostility. For example, in the film The Matrix (1999), when the character Switch wishes to disparage and denigrate the protagonist Neo, she uses as an ethnophaulism the derogatory term of "coppertop" (referring to Neo's membership in the category of humans who are used as an energy source by the Matrix).
A few studies have focused on responses to ethnophaulisms by their targets (Pankiw & Bienvenue, 1990) or by observers (Citron, Chein, & Harding, 1950; Greenberg, Kirkland, & Pyszczynski, 1988). But, as Graumann (1998) recently noted, these words that are used to hurt others have seldom been a research topic of social psychology. The purpose of this article is to review the results of a programmatic line of research (Mullen & Johnson, 1993, 1995; Mullen & Nichols, 2000; Mullen, Rozell, & Johnson, 2000, 2001) on the antecedents and consequences of the cognitive representations of ethnic immigrant groups in ethnophaulisms. First, the use of ethnophaulisms as cognitive representations of ethnic immigrant groups will be delineated. This overview will consider the complexity and the valence of the cognitive representations of ethnic immigrant groups as evidenced in ethnophaulisms. Next, the effects of attributes of the ethnic immigrant groups (the size, the familiarity, and the foreignness of the groups) on cognitive representations will be reviewed. Third, the effects of these cognitive representations on the exclusion of the ethnic immigrant groups will be explored. A schematic overview of this programmatic line of research is presented in Figure 1. The implications of these results for theoretical approaches to intergroup perception and for immigration policy will be considered.
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Cognitive Representations of Ethnic Immigrant Groups
Ethnophaulisms reveal how members of the receiving society think about members of ethnic immigrant groups. As Carter (1944) observed, ethnophaulisms are "collective representations which stand as symbols of the groups themselves" (p. 243). Similarly, Pankiw and Bienvenue (1990) noted that ethnophaulisms serve as verbal tags for social stereotypes and illustrate how the population at large perceives the targets of the ethnophaulisms. The ethnophaulism reviewed here derive from a sample of 19 ethnic immigrant groups (Belgians, Dutch, English, French, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Irish, Italians, Norwegians, Poles, Portuguese, Russians, Scots, Spaniards, Swedes, Swiss, Turks, and Welsh). These 19 groups represent all of the European ethnic immigrant groups for which Allen (1983) was able to locate ethnophaulisms and for which I was able to derive indicators of the attributes of these immigrant groups (see below). A total of 15 consecutive 10-year (decade) periods were identified (from 1821-1830 to 1961 - 1970), and the various indicators of cognitive representation in ethnophaulisms and attributes of these ethnic immigrant groups were operationalized for each group for each of these time periods. During every one of these 15 10-year time periods, this sample of 19 ethnic immigrant groups accounted for 80-90% of all immigrants into the United States.
Two facets of cognitive representation have been examined in ethnophaulisms. The first facet is the degree of complexity in the ethnophaulisms, indicating the type of cognitive representation being used for the immigrant groups. The second facet is the valence of the ethnophaulisms, indicating the negativity of the cognitive representation being used for the immigrant groups.
One aspect of the cognitive representation of ethnic immigrant groups is the relatively low complexity of these representations. For example, Greenberg et al. (1988) noted that ethnophaulisms "may imply to the target, `you are a creature indistinguishable from the rest of your group"' (p. 80). Similarly, as suggested by Graumann and Wintermantel's (1989) discussion of ethnic slurs, the use of ethnophaulisms provides a gauge of prototype representation of ethnic groups: "Typing [a member of a social category] by nouns fixates the other person as a typical instance of a social category" (p. 192, emphasis added).
However, the cognitive representations of all ethnic immigrant groups are not of equally low complexity. Indeed, there seems to be considerable variation in the complexity of ethnophaulisms applied to different ethnic immigrant groups. Mullen and Johnson (1993) initiated the examination of the Scott's H statistic (Scott, Osgood, & Peterson, 1979) derived for the ethnophaulisms applied to ethnic immigrant groups. Scott's H statistic gauges the distribution of the cognitions about a target across varying numbers of clusters or categories.
In the present context, a small Scott's H, indicating low complexity, would be obtained when a given set of ethnophaulisms is categorized into a fewer number of categories and most of those ethnophaulisms are clustered into one category. A large Scott's H, indicating high complexity, would be obtained when a given set of ethnophaulisms is categorized into a greater number of categories and those ethnophaulisms are spread evenly amongst all of the categories. For example, according to Allen (1983), four ethnophaulisms have been applied to Belgians in the United States, but all four of these ethnophaulisms refer to some aspect of a group name (belgeek, belgie, blemish, and flamingo). This clustering of four ethnophaulisms into one category renders a low Scott's H = 0.00, indicating a relatively low level of complexity in cognitive representation.
Alternatively, according to Allen (1983), four ethnophaulisms have also been applied to Spaniards in the United States, but two of these ethnophaulisms refer to some aspect of a group name (spanisher and spinach), where the other two refer to personal names (diego and jose). This distribution of four ethnophaulisms evenly across two categories renders a higher Scott's H = 1.00, indicating a relatively higher level of complexity in cognitive representation.
Allen (1983) provided approximate dates for the appearance of the ethnophaulisms presented in his lexicon. These dates were used to derive the indicator of ethnophaulism complexity for each ethnic group within each of the 15 decade time periods. Allen (1983) classified all ethnophaulisms into six mutually exclusive and exhaustive types: physical traits, personal traits, personal names, food habits, group names, and other (miscellaneous). Using this classification, in accord with the procedures followed by Brewer, Dull, and Lui (1981), Linville (1982), Linville, Fischer, and Salovey (1989), and Mullen and Johnson (1993, 1995), a Scott's H statistic was derived for the ethnophaulisms …