Our voices are powerful tools. We can speak loudly or softly, with urgency or calm. We can make requests or issue commands. Whenever and however we speak, we reveal the way we see the world. But, it’s not just the words we use that people interpret, it’s the way we sound. Our accents, our cadence tells people something about where we’re from in terms of location and group memberships. But how we speak and the way we are heard says a lot about race and power. This time on Know What You See, Brian’s two guests have thought a lot about how language and accents affect society as well as their own personal lives: Kelly E. Wright, a sociolinguist specializing in linguistic discrimination and its institutional outcomes, plus comedian Bernice Ye, a comedian, writer, and dancer originally from China who tells of her experiences as an immigrant in her standup.
Brian Lowery is a Professor of Organizational Behavior and a social psychologist by training. He received his doctorate from UCLA in 2001 with a minor in statistical methods.
Once a clueless immigrant, now an entitled American. Seattle-based comedian Bernice Ye came to Indiana from China by herself at the age of 21.
Kelly Elizabeth Wright (She/Her) is an experimental sociolinguist specializing in linguistic discrimination and its institutional outcomes.