Popescu [Abstract]

Vocabularies of motive for Will Smith’s slap: From chivalry to hegemonic masculinity
[Full text]

Teodora Popescu [1]

Abstract: The name Will Smith has been on everyone’s lips after the Academy Awards on the 27th of March, 2022. The violent behaviour of the actor was explained and justified by the general audience through multiple vocabularies of motive, invoking rational or emotional considerations. This article identifies several of the dominant vocabularies, as they are encountered in public accounts given by peers and other journalists and celebrities. I selected the articles included in the study based on their popularity by reference to the number of hits or views, aiming to capture the typology of voices who publicly expressed their opinion on this event. Public discourses have invoked a variety of accounts, that can be characterized as: vocabulary of hegemonic masculinity, vocabulary of love and chivalry, vocabulary of trauma, vocabulary of feminism, vocabulary of growing popularity, and vocabulary of racial discrimination.

Keywords: Vocabularies of motive; Gender; Hegemonic masculinity; Academy Awards;

[1] Doctoral School of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania, teo.popescu94@gmail.com.