THE JARGON AND WORLDVIEW OF THIEVES
The article discusses the jargon of thieves from the anthropological perspective. The vocabulary characteristic of that group, together with a peculiar manner of speech, are treated as a tool thanks to which they organize the reality around them. The language variety, a variant of prison jargon, derives from the language of the street, typically reserved for men. The ability to use it is one of the major manifestations and criteria of belonging to 'us', to the 'real', tough men. An introduction of order is a continuous process so language does not only serve to locate people through naming, but also to use terms of abuse. This acts as a test to find out whether people have been properly classified. In the worldview of thieves valuation is associated with the demarcation line between what is masculine from what is feminine and unmanly. In that environment, which by definition is dominated by men, femine characteristics receive negative valuation. Weak men are subjected to contempt, weakness being treated as a characteristically feminine feature.
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