Associative Experiment in the Study of Sociocultural Stereotype
As complex phenomena of social and cultural experience, sociocultural stereotypes manifest in behavioural, material and verbal spheres. Notable advances in the study of various aspects of sociocultural stereotypes in humanities have not eliminated the necessity of their study in research paradigm of cognitive-linguistics that incorporates psycholinguistic methods within interpretative framework. An in-depth study of sociocultural stereotypes requires rigorous empirical investigation of language evidence received from competent speakers in experimental situations. The experimental work provides a high level of empirical accuracy to verify emotional evaluation and pragmatic presuppositions conveyed by sociocultural stereotypes. The aim of this study was to unveil the meaning of a sociocultural stereotype flapper in contemporary culture and to model its cognitive structure on results of associative experiment. This sociocultural stereotype was chosen for its importance in changing standards of women behaviour in modern American culture. Flappers were young and daring American women, whose look and behaviour were criticised rigorously by traditionalists. An associative experiment conducted in the Lock Heaven College of Pennsylvania University showed the stereotype of flappers, though emerged in 1920s, still exists in national consciousness as a stereotypical image and a symbol of the epoch. The work contributes to the methodology of systematising experimental data in cognitive-linguistic research.