Chapter

Subordinating Speech<sup>1</sup>

Ishani Maitra

in Speech and Harm

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199236282
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236282.003.0005
Subordinating Speech1

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This chapter considers whether ordinary instances of racist hate speech can be authoritative, thereby constituting the subordination of people of color. It is often said that ordinary speakers cannot subordinate because they lack authority. Here it is argued that there are more ways in which speakers can come to have authority than have been generally recognized. In part, this is because authority has been taken to be too closely tied to social position. This chapter presents a series of examples which show that speaker authority needn’t derive from social position at all. Moreover, these examples also show that a speaker can come to have authority even when they lack it prior to speaking. After distinguishing these different ways in which speakers can come to have authority, it is argued that there is ample reason to think that even producers of ordinary instances of racist hate speech can sometimes have authority in these ways.

Keywords: racist hate speech; subordination; authority; pornography; speech act; ranking; assertion

Chapter.  12070 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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