Section 8 Activity

The clip from Sorry to Bother You piqued my interest due to its comedic discussion on racial stereotypes and identities within voice. The clip related Eidsheim’s discussion in Acoustimatic Question regarding that “vocal choices are based on the vocalizer’s position within the collective rather than arising solely as individual expression.” Eidsheim’s postulation correlates to the movie clip vocal racial profiling since specific races and ethnicities have individual vocal traits and slang which leads to stereotyping. In the movie, the telemarketers are practicing their “white” voices to sound more professional, a typical stereotype of educated white males. In doing so, they are aiming to fit their voices into a definitive category instead of utilizing their own individual traits, a theme relevant in Eidsheim’s work. The telemarketers are thereby sacrificing their own unique vocal identity in hopes of blending with the collective. They wish to alter their voices to fit a generic model since their true voices are given negative connotations within the context of the scene. In effect, their vocal identity is defined as part of a collective rather than individually, relating to Eidsheim’s work on vocal identity and its relationship to culture.

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