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A 'Ho New World: Raced And Gendered Insult As Ersatz Carnival And The Corruption Of Freedom Of Expression Norms, Lolita Buckner Inniss Jan 2009

A 'Ho New World: Raced And Gendered Insult As Ersatz Carnival And The Corruption Of Freedom Of Expression Norms, Lolita Buckner Inniss

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Carnivalization, a concept developed by literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin and later employed in broad social and cultural contexts, is the tearing down of social norms, the elimination of boundaries, and the inversion of established hierarchies. It is the world turned upside down. Ersatz carnival is a pernicious, inverted form of carnival, one wherein counter-discourses propounded by outsiders are appropriated by elites and frequently redeployed to silence and exclude those same outsiders. The use of the slur "'ho" by gangsta' rappers in the performance of songs that articulate a vision of urban culture is an example of carnivalization. Thus, when words ...