Aicha is more Dutch but less dynamic than Ahmed: The gendered nature of race in the Netherlands

Stef Grondelaers*, Paul van Gent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In this article we rely on accent evaluation to test the ‘intersectional invisibility hypothesis’1 that social cognition about men (but not women) is overrepresented in group-level beliefs.2 As a case in point, we investigate the evaluation of male and female Moroccan accents to gain insight into impression formation of Muslims in the Netherlands, and to find out whether stereotypical qualities associated with Moroccan-Dutch people, such as aggressive, macho, and criminal, are in fact associated with Moroccan-Dutch men. Two matched-guise experiments featuring regional and ethnic accents of Dutch (one with male speakers, one with female speakers) confirm the intersectional invisibility hypothesis, but the inclusion of traditional and modern prestige measures in accent evaluation research results in arguably richer stereotype and prejudice accounts, and in this sense, the present investigation adds nuance and shade to Gloria Wekker’s (2016) pessimistic account of racism in Dutch society. Male Moroccan-Dutch speech is strongly deprecated and is always deemed inferior to indigenous speech; at the same time it is also found to be the most dynamically prestigious of all accents. Female Moroccan-Dutch speech does not engender extreme reactions, but it is not regarded as dynamic either and a long way from being accepted as indigenous speech.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-290
Number of pages16
JournalDutch Crossing: a journal of Low Countries studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2022


  • intersectionality
  • gendered race
  • stereotypes
  • language attitudes
  • prestige


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