Cross-Cultural Research of the Use of Obscene Language in the Youth Environment

Keywords: obscene language, foul language, profanity, language culture, language norm.

Abstract

The purpose of the research is to determine the psychological peculiarities of the use of obscene language by young people from different countries with different cultural and linguistic traditions. In the context of the socio-psychological approach, the use of profanities is an indicator of tension in society and individual-personal crises.

Research procedure. During 2018-2019, 518 respondents aged 16-20 were surveyed online. The questionnaire (Google Form) developed contained 15 questions about using foul language in various communication situations. Five national samples with different backgrounds of speech culture formation were analyzed: Ukraine, Russia, Poland, USA, and Asian countries.

The results obtained show that not only external forms of obscene language have a national specificity, but also internal, psychological reactions that accompany such communication. The respondents from Asian countries showed their fundamental rejection of obscenities. The most tolerant perception of foul language was revealed in Russia and Poland. In Ukraine, 43.7% of those surveyed expressed a general negative attitude, but the Ukrainians perceive profanity towards themselves especially seriously. Young Americans are more negative about obscene language in general (as a phenomenon), but they are quite tolerant of using it as to themselves. In terms of frequency and nature of using foul language, the Ukrainian sample is more similar to American and Polish ones than to the Russian sample.

Conclusions. A typology of the use of obscene language due to the socio-cultural characteristics of different countries has been formulated in the conclusions. The characteristic features of the Ukrainian sample are highlighted, where, based on criminal-vulgarized language, the processes of formation of the democratic society and revival of the national identity take place. Measures on the social regulation of a language norm and prevention of spreading obscene language in the youth environment have been proposed.

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Published
2020-11-08
How to Cite
Tavrovetska, N., & Shebanova, V. (2020). Cross-Cultural Research of the Use of Obscene Language in the Youth Environment. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 28(1), 239-266. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2020-28-1-239-266