A1 Journal article (refereed)
Confronting blackface : Stancetaking in the Dutch Black Pete debate (2020)

D’hondt, S. (2020). Confronting blackface : Stancetaking in the Dutch Black Pete debate. Pragmatics, 30(4), 485-508. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.18039.dho

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: D’hondt, Sigurd

Journal or series: Pragmatics

ISSN: 1018-2101

eISSN: 2406-4238

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 30

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 485-508

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.18039.dho

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67429


ecently, the Netherlands witnessed an agitated discussion over Black Pete, a blackface character associated with the Saint Nicholas festival. This paper analyzes a televised panel interview discussing a possible court ban of public Nicholas festivities, and demonstrates that participants not only disagree over the racist nature of the blackface character but also over the terms of the debate itself. Drawing on recent sociolinguistic work on stancetaking, it traces how panelists ‘laminate’ the interview’s participation framework by embedding their assessments of Black Pete in contrasting dialogical fields. Their stancetaking evokes opposing trajectories of earlier interactions and conjures up discursive complexes of identity/belonging that entail discrepant judgments over the acceptability of criticism. The extent to which a stance makes explicit the projected field’s phenomenal content, it is argued, reflects the relative (in)visibility of hegemonic we-ness.

Keywords: holiday tradition; public discussion; cultural identity; argumentation; hegemony; pragmatics; discourse analysis; sociolinguistics

Free keywords: stance; metastancing; metapragmatic regimentation; panel interview; visibility; hegemony; Black Pete

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:52