Derogatory Language in Intergroup Context: Are “Gay” and “Fag” Synonymous?

Andrea Carnaghi, Anne Maass

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In October 2004, the Italian Minister for Italians Abroad, Mirko Tremaglia, commented the defeat of Rocco Buttiglione at the European Parliament by publicly stating: “Poor Europe. The fags are in the majority.” Unsurprisingly, his statement solicited a wave of protests. Would the reaction have been the same had Tremaglia used a neutral term such as “gay” or “homosexual”? Most likely, the outrage against Tremaglia’s claim had little to do with the content of his statement (however inaccurate and polemic), but rather with the disparaging and offensive nature of the group label (fag) used in his utterance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStereotype Dynamics
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage-Based Approaches to the Formation, Maintenance, and Transformation of Stereotypes
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781136679087
ISBN (Print)9780203809990
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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