Call-outs and call-ins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phenomena of call-outs and call-ins are fiercely debated. Are they mere instances of virtue signaling? Or can they actually perform social justice work? This paper gains purchase on these questions by focusing on how language users negotiate norms in speech. The authors contend that norm-enacting speech not only makes a norm salient in a context but also creates conversational conditions that motivate adherence to that norm. Recognizing this allows us to define call-outs and call-ins: the act of calling-out brings with it the presupposition that its target's behavior is norm-violating, whereas the act of calling-in simply presupposes its target's willingness to revise their belief. With these definitions at hand, we evaluate whether call-outs and call-ins are suitable tools for combating social injustice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2024


  • call-ins
  • call-outs
  • conversational score
  • exercitive speech
  • social justice


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