top of page
Post: Blog2 Post

Working-class and ethnic minority accents in south-east England judged as less intelligent

There’s been much – and rightful – scrutiny of prejudice towards accents in the north of England. For instance, research has highlighted teachers with northern accents being told to “posh up” and northern university students being ridiculed for their accent.

But there is also prejudice towards accents in south-east England. In this region there are various regional accents which, among others, include cockney (which you may now be most likely to hear in Essex), and “multicultural London English”, which is spoken mainly by young people in London and is influenced by the city’s many different ethnic communities. Not all south-eastern accents are treated equally, which both reflect and reproduce societal inequalities.

In my recent research project, a group of almost 200 people aged 18 to 33 from south-east England were played ten-second audio clips of other young people reading the same sentence. Clips were played of over 100 people from different areas of London and across every county in the south-east.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page