reddragdiva: (Wikipedia)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

the nascent rationalwiki article on the term “social justice warrior” is going great. main thing it needs is firmer detail on the earliest coinage of the term.

the earliest pejorative usage we can find (and knowyourmeme concurs) is will shetterly’s blog tone-policing “social justice warriors” versus “social justice activists”.

in the sort of “5 minutes with google” research sk1llz that will one day have us up there with cracked, i found earlier usages from 2007 and 2008, proudly applying the term to people who worked hard to make the world a somewhat better place.

so what i’m really after:

  1. any earlier pejorative usages;
  2. any earlier non-pejorative usages.

your assistance would be most welcomed.

the oxford english dictionary’s quick definition site oxforddictionaries.com, btw, appears to have been infiltrated by the socjus menace: their definition is simply “A person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views”, but one of their example sentences is “Some of them admit they’re afraid that social justice warriors will ruin video games.”

(also, why can’t my terrible research skills find any sociologists talking about tumblr sjws. back in the ‘90s, sociologists and students seemed desperate to find anything resembling a subculture to write about. i ran a fanzine and was fending off calls regularly.)

please forward this anywhere you think would be helpful.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-12 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Did you check the archives of sf_drama and stupid_free on livejournal? I seem to recall the term being used there maybe a bit earlier.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-12 07:38 pm (UTC)
doug: ubiquitous photo of me gurning with green shirt on (Default)
From: [personal profile] doug
Sociology as a discipline is still reeling after so many fine sociologists disappeared in to Second Life and have yet to emerge.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-13 06:01 am (UTC)
tcpip: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tcpip
You know, I'm kinda surprised that there isn't a Third Life.. An online persona in a virtual reality within Second Life.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-13 06:03 am (UTC)
tcpip: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tcpip
Dave Cake classically quipped that he was a Social Justice Wizard on one of my Facebook discussions. I reckon that's almost worth going in.

I'll see what else I can dig up..

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-13 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've got a non-pejorative use from 2001:

http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/ASPA/UNPAN000572.pdf

This is the earliest that I've ever seen sourced anywhere.

(Posting as anon b/c I don't have a LiveJournal account.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-14 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sociology (and probably any other social science field, really) is always slightly behind the curve, as it takes years to produce proposals, acquire funding, collect data, perform analysis, and publish. By the time you get something published, your work is always going to be a few years old. On a related note, it may take a while for scholars to figure out that there is a new subculture out there that they need to pay attention to. Back when I was a Sociology Master student (back in the mid-2000's), I was surprised at how little there was on video-gaming/MMO culture, which, by that time, had blossomed into a full-fledged subculture (with conventions, specific musical artists, media outlets like Penny Arcade and such, etc.). I haven't really checked to see if there has been much in the way of scholarly research on the topic since then.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-15 07:50 am (UTC)
psychonaut: (Default)
From: [personal profile] psychonaut
You checked Google, but did you also check Google Books and Google Newspapers? Both of them have citations going back to the 1990s. For example, there are occurrences in an article "No Quick Fix for Homeless" in the 17 July 1998 edition ef the Eugene Register-Guard, and in Tim Dugdale's 1995 novel I Couldn't Care Less. Five years ago I would have suggested you also search Google Groups' Usenet archives, though Google has completely trashed the interface and it no longer allows searching by date.

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