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Understanding Labels: The Terms We Use to Describe Groups of People & How These Evolve To Reflect Societal Values

Elvert Barnes

The labels and terms we use to describe groups of people are ever evolving. While this is intended to more accurately describe people’s identities, it can be confusing, especially in this divisive world. We discuss what the current preferred terms are, from LGBTQIA+ to Latinx and BIPOC, and how these reflect the changing norms of society.

This is part of our ongoing series of shows exploring the use of language in our world today.


Theo Greene, assistant professor of sociology, Bowdoin College
Nicollette Mitchell, director of equity and education, Bates College
Marpheen Chann, president, Cambodian Community Association of Maine; development, communications, and education associate at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine


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