A new study has found that while some people might feel it’s disrespectful to say the word “homo” in a casual way, others don’t see it as a threat.
The research from the University of Queensland, which surveyed more than 1,200 people in Australia’s three largest cities, found that the vast majority of people didn’t see the word as derogatory, and in fact they said they could relate to the use of it in their daily lives.
The study also found that those who felt it was offensive were less likely to associate the word with the Australian ethnic group, or to feel it was disrespectful.
“The study showed that it is very unlikely to cause a negative association with the term ‘hominid’,” Professor Matthew Wilson from the university’s department of communication said.
“I think it’s important to realise that the term has been around for about 500 years, and there is a very strong historical link to the term Hominid”.
The study looked at two different words, “hominoid” and “humanoid”, and also looked at the meanings of the words “hobo”, “human”, and “hong” as they relate to Hottentot, English and English speakers.
“A lot of people don’t necessarily understand the context in which these words are used in the modern context,” Professor Wilson said.
The findings showed that, for the majority of the people surveyed, the word was used to describe a person or a species that was “similar to, but different to, their own”.
“It is used to refer to people or a particular group of people, and when we look at people’s reactions to that it’s generally a negative reaction,” Professor Michael Brown from the Australian National University said.
Professor Wilson said he hoped the research would be used to educate people about the use and impact of racial epithets, and to help those who had been labelled as racialised in the past to be able to use them in a different way.
Topics:language,language-and-literature,people,community-and.society,race-relations,indigenous-aboriginal-and Torres Strait Islander,community,people-and_groups,education,tas,au First posted May 05, 2020 06:48:55Contact Rohan ChatterjeeMore stories from New South Wales